MUMBAI: Christmas has brought cheer to two families involved in a nasty accident earlier this month.
Owners of two cars smashed by a speeding Aston Martin Rapide owned by industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Group on December 8 have got spanking new cars as replacements.
Foram Ruparel, 25, whose Audi A6 was damaged in the December 8 accident on Pedder Road, and senior pharma executive Vikram Mishra, whose Hyundai Elantra’s boot and bumper were knocked out of shape by the Aston Martin, received their new cars on Tuesday.
While Ruparel got an identical A6, Mishra received an upgrade in Skoda Superb.
On Monday, both Ruparel and Mishra had informed the Gamdevi police, who are investigating the accident, that they were not interested in pursuing the case any further.
Tushar Ruparel, Foram’s father, claimed on Wednesday that people from Reliance were in touch with the two families over the last week to discuss a settlement.
“On Monday we informed the investigating officer Assistant Police Inspector Ravindra Pawar that we want to withdraw the case and on Tuesday we received the new cars. We are satisfied with the compensation,” he said.
Both Ruparel and Mishra get to retain their old cars that are undergoing repairs and are expected to be road-worthy soon.
Mishra remained unavailable for comment despite repeated attempts by this newspaper to reach him on Wednesday.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Nisar Tamboli, however, said that the victims’ desire to withdraw the case will not impact the investigation in any way.
“An FIR has been registered and we will continue with our probe. The case will be committed to a court and it will be up to the court to decide whether to allow withdrawal of prosecution,” he said.
While Bansilal Joshi, 55, a Reliance driver, presented himself at the Gamdevi police station a day after the accident, he has not been arrested so far, indicating that the investigating team is not convinced that he was behind the speeding Aston Martin wheel at the time of the accident.
Forensic teams found two finger-prints in the car. But since the car had been used by multiple drivers, finger-prints alone don’t prove anything. There were not fatalities in the accident, nor was anybody grievously injured.
Of the two victims, only Foram Ruparel has recorded her statement before a magistrate, in which she identified Bansilal Joshi as the man who was behind the wheel of the Aston Martin.
However, in her statements widely reported in the media a day after the accident, she had said the man driving the Aston Martin did not look like a driver. Vikram Mishra has not recorded his statement with the Gamdevi police till date despite repeated requests by the investigating team.
Reliance has maintained that the car driven by Joshi was on a routine maintenance drive and it was being followed by two SUVs carrying security guards as is standard protocol for all vehicles used by the Ambani family. (Courtesy Mumbai Mirror)