Jaipur BMW case: is the driver a scapegoat to shield MLA's son?
- On Friday night, a Rajasthan MLA's son rammed his BMW into an auto and a PCR van
- While three died on the spot, five others were injured in the accident
- Siddharth Maharia was rescued from the drivers seat in an inebriated state
- On Saturday afternoon, driver Ramesh Kumar claimed responsibility for the accident
More in the story
- What do investigations reveal so far?
- Is the driver lying about his involvement?
Siddharth Maharia, son of independent Rajasthan MLA Nandkishore Maharia, was sent to three-day police custody by the Jaipur court on Monday.
Siddharth was arrested on Saturday for allegedly mowing down three people with his BMW car on Friday night.
His car had crashed into an auto rickshaw and a PCR van at St. Xavier's square. Five people, including four police jawans, were also injured in the incident.
Siddharth's lawyers have insisted that the charges levelled against their client are false and it was Ramesh, the driver, who was responsible for the mishap.
The curious 'confession' of Ramesh
Much like the 1999 hit-and-run-case of Delhi's billionaire Sanjeev Nanda and Salman Khan's road rage case of 2002, a driver Ramesh Kumar took the blame for the entire incident upon himself.
Ramesh, a resident of Maharashtra, reached the police station on Saturday afternoon and told cops that he was driving the BMW at the time of the accident.
Ramesh went missing soon after, only to resurface during the court proceedings on Sunday.
He reiterated before the court that he was behind the wheels when the accident occurred. He further claimed to have gone underground on Saturday for the fear of the police.
However, Ramesh was called again to the police station at around 8pm on Sunday. When grilled with some tough questions, he reportedly admitted that he was in Sikar with Siddharth's father Nandkishore Maharia at the time of the incident and returned to Jaipur at 4 AM on Saturday.
This claim was contradicted by the MLA in a telephonic conversation with Catchon late Sunday night. According to Maharia, Ramesh was 'firmly on their side.' He even handed the phone over to a man, he claimed was Ramesh.
This man accused the police of speaking lies and stated that there was no difference in the statements he made in the courtroom and the one he made in front of police officers.
Why the suspicion?
The evidence so far does not seem to be adding up to Ramesh's version of the story.
Firstly, Ramesh held the auto driver as responsible for the accident, stating that he was over-speeding. But, CCTV footage shows the auto was running at a normal speed. The car appeared on the square at high speed and hit the autorickshaw and the PCR van.
According to Ramesh, he fled the scene after the BMW crashed against the PCR van out of fear. On the contrary, several eyewitnesses saw Siddharth emerging from the driver's seat and not Ramesh.
All others involved in the accident, including Siddharth, have sustained injuries. But, there is not even a scratch on Ramesh's body.
Additionally, Ramesh says he ran away before any witness could see him. But, the car was damaged to the extent that it was unlikely for anybody to get out of it in such a short time.
The policemen in the damaged PCR van, as well as the complainant Ajit Soni, have stated that Siddharth was rescued from the driver's seat in an inebriated state.
The investigation so far
Considering the sensitivity of the case, the police is making every effort to make the case against Siddharth a watertight one. The investigation report has maintained that there was nobody in the car apart from Siddharth and his cousin Jayant. The DSP (South) Manish Aggarwal has affirmed that the police has enough evidence against Siddharth.
The police officials have alleged that Siddharth was found to have 152 mg of alcohol in a breath analyser test conducted after the accident. The permissible level for driving is 30 mg.
The investigators are examining the footage from CCTV cameras installed along Janpath, MI Road and Tonk Road to ascertain the route the BMW car had taken on that fateful evening.
The police also want to know the place where Siddharth and his cousin started their journey. It is likely to be a hotel or a beer bar if the police are to be believed.
The call detail records of the accused are also being investigated. The location of Ramesh's mobile phone throughout Friday and Saturday will also be looked into to verify his claims.
The forensic team has taken samples of blood stains found on the airbag from driver's side of the car. The report of these samples can prove to be crucial in proving who was driving the BMW.
Siddharth's shady past
Furthermore, the police is also checking Siddharth's past records. Interestingly, all the posts and photographs on Siddharth's Facebook page were found to have been deleted after the incident.
Cases of drunken driving and violence have been registered against Siddharth in the past. He was allegedly involved in a brawl with a group of youth while returning from the hills of Nahargarh. It was also reportedly a case of road rage. The group he messed with had even snatched Siddharth's car. It was recovered from Haryana after a few days. The case was registered at the Amer police station.
Siddharth was allegedly involved in another incident of violence during his student days at Mayo College. He had picked up a fight over bath in a swimming pool at that time.
Siddharth is known as an enthusiast of expensive cars. Besides a few super luxury vehicles in his garage, he also possesses many expensive bikes with prices ranging from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.
Two years ago, he returned from Australia after completing his studies and now helps his father in the business. The family runs an automobile showroom in Fatehpur Sikri.
Edited by Jhinuk Sen
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