Cyrus Mistry road accident: Dr Anahita Pandole booked for rash driving, causing death due to negligence

Over two months after Cyrus Mistry, former head of Tata Sons, and Jehangir Pandole, director for Global Strategy at the KPMG, were killed in a road crash after their Mercedes car crashed into the boundary wall of Surya river bridge in Palghar district, the local Kasa police have registered an FIR against Dr Anahita Pandole, 55, who was driving the car. She has been booked for rash and negligent driving.

Pandole has been booked under Sections 304A (death due to negligence), 279 (rash driving), 336 (endangering lives), 337 (causing hurt) and 338 (grievous hurt) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 112 (limits of speed), 183 (driving at excessive speed) and 184 (dangerous driving) of the Motor Vehicles Act, besides Sections 14 (overtaking), 5 (duties of drivers/riders), and 6 (lane traffic) of the Motor Vehicle Driving Regulation.

Balasaheb Patil, the superintendent of Palghar district, said: “After the crash, the investigation of the case was given to Prashant Pardeshi, a sub-divisional police officer of Jawahar division. We recorded statements of witnesses at the spot. We received a report from the RTO and another report from the Mercedes Benz company that had done a technical analysis of the damaged car belonging to their company.”

The investigations showed that the car was being driven at high speed and the accident took place while dangerously overtaking another vehicle.

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The FIR was registered Friday, a few days after the statement of Darius Pandole, one of the two survivors of the accident, was recorded. The car was being driven by Darius’s wife Dr Anahita Pandole, a gynaecologist, who is undergoing physiotherapy in a hospital.

Darius was discharged from Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital on October 28 and his statement was recorded at Kasa police station Tuesday.

Darius, as per the police, said a light vehicle was moving ahead of their car. “On seeing that the three-lane road was merging into two, the car ahead took a right turn and safely moved on. Witnessing this, Dr Anahita also tried to take a right turn but could not do so because a heavy vehicle was moving on her right. So, she ended up ramming the car into the boundary wall of the bridge,” the official said.

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The Mercedes car was being driven at a high speed, the police said.

The police officer from Kasa added, “She (Anahita) could have taken a left turn and rammed into the divider which could have minimised the impact but as the car was moving at a high speed, she could not make a sound judgment. She could not halt the car in time and crashed it into the wall.”

Dr Anahita, who is still recovering at the hospital, is expected to be discharged soon.

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The Pandoles were admitted to the hospital on September 5 after they were shifted from a private hospital in Vapi through a green corridor. Both the husband and the wife suffered severe injuries in the accident. Besides undergoing surgery on his forearm and maxillofacial surgery, Darius also had to battle an infection owing to the severity of his injuries. He was discharged after 54 days in the hospital. Dr Anahita has been operated upon for pelvic reconstruction.

“The injuries were very complex and, therefore, our best team of multidisciplinary doctors worked closely on the Pandoles. Advice was sought from experts across the globe to define the best course of action for their treatment and that has enabled us to achieve results,” Dr Tarang Gianchandani, CEO of the HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, said.