Drunken driving survivor freed on bail

June 15th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Gurgaon, June 15 (IANS) Tapan Malik, an 18-year-old survivor of a car crash in which his three teeneged friends died in a case of drinken driving, was Sunday granted bail and his mother said he was not behind the wheel when the accident occurred on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway. After early Saturday morning’s accident, Tapan was arrested in the evening on the charges of rash and negligent driving and causing deaths of three by ramming their Tata Indigo car into the road divider. He was released on bail by a court here.

“Tapan, who was above 18 years of age, had applied for driving license with the Gurgaon Licensing Authority. He was obviously not carrying a driving license when the accident occurred,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (East) Sunit Kuhar said.

He said Tapan was booked under sections 279 (negligent driving) and 304-A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

While Tapan miraculously survived, Siddharth, Karan and Divanshu, all aged 16 and students of the G.D. Goenka World School, died. They all had gone to a pub in New Delhi’s Samrat Hotel Friday and left close to midnight.

“A driver had dropped us at the hotel. After partying, all of us decided to get home on our own and we borrowed a car from one of our colleagues. Divanshu insisted on driving the car. I told him that he was very drunk and it was not safe for him to drive,” Tapan said Saturday while recuperating at the Gurgaon Civil Hospital. He admitted they all were drunk.

Kuhar, however, said it was Tapan who was behind the wheel and was inebriated.

The teenager’s mother Geeta Malik said he was innocent and was not driving the car.

“Along with other family members, Tapan had gone on a pilgrimage to Vrindavan and returned only Friday. When his friends came home and asked him to come to the party, he was feeling sleepy because of the tour,” Geeta Malik said.

“Tapan was simply sleeping in the car on their return from the hotel and it was someone from the three deceased who was driving,” she said.

Tapan’s past principal said he was thrown out of the school in 2006.

The principal of the Amity International School in Sector 46 said they had thrown Tapan out of the school in 2006 because his unruly behaviour.

After that, Tapan had not been able to get admission in any Gurgaon school but his mother said Tapan had recently got admission in a school in Dehradun.

Meanwhile, the police have given a clean chit to the owner of the car. The teenagers had borrowed the vehicle from their colleague, Honey Mahajan, and it belonged to Honey’s father.

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