Mumbai: Dr Anahita Pandole, the driver and one of two survivors of the horrific car crash on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Palghar district on Sep 4 that claimed the lives of former Tata Sons Chairman Cyrus Mistry and his friend and her brother-in-law Jehangir Pandole, is likely to be discharged from the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital at Girgaum by the end of this week.
Dr Pandole and her husband Darius were admitted to the hospital for treatment of their injuries. Mr Pandole was discharged in October. Dr Pandole, who suffered more grievous injuries, has been undergoing physiotherapy at the hospital after recovering from her surgery.
After Dr Pandole is discharged, the Palghar Police will seek her signature on the draft charge sheet in the case that will then be submitted to a magistrate's court in Palghar district.
The police said Dr Pandole will not be arrested. Palghar Superintendent of Police Balasaheb Patil told The Free Press Journal on Tuesday, “There will be no arrests in this case. We were waiting for her recovery. Now we have been told by the hospital that she will be discharged on Dec 24 or 25. After that, we will take her signature, which is required as per the Criminal Procedure Code, before submitting the charge sheet in court.”
Dr Pandole will have to be present in court at the time the charge sheet is filed.
Accident happened on November 5
On Nov 5, a case of rash driving and speeding was registered against her at the Kasa police station in Palghar district after Mr Pandole's statement was recorded on Nov 1.
Mr Pandole was seated in the front passenger seat at the time of the accident and was properly strapped in. His brother Jehangir and Mr Mistry were seated at the back. Neither was wearing his seat belt.
Mr Pandole, in his statement to the Palghar Police, reported first by The Journal, said his wife was trying to overtake a heavy vehicle when the three-lane Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway suddenly narrowed to a two-lane one. Flustered by the abrupt change and to avoid a collision with other vehicles, she rammed into the wall of the bridge on the Surya River, he told the police.
The police investigation revealed that Mr Mistry and Jehangir Pandole died as they were not wearing seat belts at the time of the high-speed crash. The vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz GLC 220d, is with the forensics team. A preliminary report by Mercedes experts had stated that the vehicle was being driven at a speed of 100 kmph and barely moments before the collision the driver applied the brakes but the vehicle crashed into the wall at a speed of at least 89 kmph.
Officers at the Kasa police station have also reported that Dr Pandole had been issued seven e-challans since 2020 for speeding in the same car.
(If you have a story in and around Mumbai, you have our ears, be a citizen journalist and send us your story here. )