Cops Say DUI Teen Killed 2. Initial Punishment? An Essay

Outrage in India eventually led to 17-year-old's bail being revoked; he may now be charged as adult
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2024 10:00 AM CDT
Cops Say DUI Teen Killed 2. Initial Punishment? An Essay
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Ivan-balvan)

There's outrage in India over a teen who cops say killed two people after driving while drunk. The Independent reports that the unnamed 17-year-old from Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, was driving a Porsche before dawn on Sunday when he slammed into a motorbike carrying two 20-something software engineers coming home from a party, according to local authorities.

  • What happened: The teen, said to have been out celebrating results of a test he'd taken, was reportedly speeding at nearly 125mph when he hit the motorbike. After crashing into the motorbike, the teen is said to have hit some nearby railings. The two riders died instantly at the scene, per police.

  • Video: CNN notes that CCTV footage from just minutes before the crash shows a white Porsche racing down a busy road; people can then be seen running toward where the accident took place, though the crash site itself isn't shown in the video.
  • Legalities: The legal age to drive in India is 18, while the legal age to drink in Maharashtra is 25.
  • Charges: The teen was first charged with death by negligence, but that was later upgraded to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, per CBS News. He was also hit with drunk-driving charges.
  • Repercussions: It's not just the nature of the boy's crime that has people outraged—it's the fact that his initial punishment handed down by the Juvenile Justice Board, after being released on bail, included getting treatment and counseling for his drinking, shadowing local police for 15 days, and writing a 300-word essay on road safety.
  • Reaction: "This was a surprising order" doled out by the juvenile board regarding the teen, the son of a well-known real estate mogul, says Maharashtra's deputy chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis, per CNN. He calls it a "heinous crime" that could possibly lead to the boy being charged as an adult (possible under the law if kids older than 16 commit such a "heinous" act).
  • Reaction II: "Why aren't essays assigned to truck drivers or bus drivers?" Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Indian National Congress, gripes. One of the victim's relatives, meanwhile, tells NDTV that the fact the teen received bail almost immediately was "condemnable."
  • Change in plans: After backlash from the public, local cops approached the justice board on Wednesday and asked for the boy's bail to be revoked, and the board agreed, per CBS. The teen will now be sent to a juvenile detention center until at least June 5, and a further probe will determine if he'll be tried as an adult. The teen's father was also arrested for letting his son drive, as were three others who allegedly served the boy booze.
(More drunk driving stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.