A Mumbai-based lawyer and senior executive at Reliance Industries was arrested on Tuesday for alleged drunken driving and ramming her car into a taxi, killing two persons.
Janhavi Gadkar, 35, who practices at the Bombay High Court and is also vice-president (legal) at Reliance Industries, was later produced before a Mumbai court, which sent her to police custody till 12 June.
She has been booked under section 304-II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code, which carries a maximum punishment of ten years in jail, according to The Times of India.
The incident occurred early on Tuesday morning at around 1:10 am when Gadkar rammed her Audi Q3 into a taxi in which a family was travelling. The head-on collission resulted in the death of two persons, taxi driver Sayed Husain, 57 and passenger Haji Samim Sabuwala, 50, who was sitting in the front seat.
Sabuwala was returning home in Null Bazar, Nagpada, with his family after celebrating his son's success in the SSC exams at an eatery in Bhiwandi.
Sabuwala's family sitting in the back seat sustained injuries. While his 18-year-old son Noman was discharged after first-aid, his wife Hafeeza, 45, and daughter Sabiya, 22 have suffered serious injuries.
Gadkar survived the accident with just few injuries because of the airbag in her car, while the front portion of the taxi was mangled badly.
However, her lawyer Mahesh Sabnis said in the court that Gadkar suffered multiple fractures and suspected internal injuries, TOI reports.
She was driving on the wrong side under the influence of alcohol
The 35-year-old lawyer had gone to Hotel Marine Plaza with two of her colleagues on Monday at around 7 pm for dinner. After consuming liquor, Gadkar drove to Marine Drive where she spent some time before leaving for her home in Chembur at around 12:30 am, TOI reports.
Since she was under the influence of alcohol, she entered the wrong lane on the Eastern Freeway, which connects P D'Mello Road in South Mumbai to the Eastern Express Highway. According to an RTO officer, who examined the accident site, she was driving at a speed of about 120 kmph.
Gadkar kept driving on the wrong lane of the road until she crashed into the taxi near Shivaji Nagar Masjid. Before ramming into the taxi, she had missed missed hitting two cars. Those in the other cars chased her until she met with the accident.
"The road was almost empty. Janhavi, driving under the influence of alcohol, did not realize her direction was wrong. She entered the Freeway on the wrong side at its mouth at Masjid Bunde," Assistant Commissioner of Police Jeevaji Jadhav said.
Gadkar tried to offer money to victims to hush up matter
Eyewitnesses claimed Gadkar tried to offer money to the victims to hush up the matter.
"I was returning with my family when the incident occurred. I immediately got hold of the woman and called the RCF police. Passers-by removed the injured taxi passengers and took them to Sion hospital. We also called the fire brigade to free the driver. Janhavi tried to hush up the matter by offering payment to the victims on the spot and telling us not to call the police," one of the eyewitnesses, Hassan, said.