Aston Martin case: complainant identifies Reliance firm driver

Wednesday, 25 December 2013 - 11:16pm IST | Agency: PTI

The complainant in the hit-and-run case involving a luxury car belonging to a Reliance group company had identified Bansilal Joshi, the company's employee, as the one who was driving the car at the time, police said here today.

Identification of Joshi (55) as the driver of Aston Martin, the high-end car involved in the accident, by the complainant Foram Ruparel (25) ended the mystery about who was behind the wheels at the time, police added.

The accident occurred at around 1.30 am on December 8 when the Aston Martin was heading towards Haji Ali along the Peddar Road in south Mumbai at a very high speed.

The driver lost control and rammed an Audi in the front. The Audi, due to the impact, jumped over the divider and hit a luxury bus coming from opposite direction, while a front wheel of the Aston Martin came off.

The Aston Martin rolled ahead to hit a Hyundai Elantra car. Nobody was injured in the pile-up, though.

Joshi, employed with Mukesh Ambani's family, turned up at Gamdevi police station next day, and said he was driving the Aston Martin at the time of the accident.

Police recorded Joshi's statement but did not arrest him then, saying they were not sure if it was he who matched the description provided by the complainant. CCTV footage and cellphone signals did not conclusively establish that Joshi was behind the wheels at the time.

According to Joshi, he did not stop after the accident because he was frightened.

A senior official told PTI today, "Ruparel, who was driving the Audi, has now identified Joshi as the one who was driving the Aston Martin before a magistrate here. "Since the victim, who was earlier confused and changing her statements, has now identified Joshi as the driver, we would arrest him. The mystery as to who was driving the luxury car ends with the complainant identifying Joshi," said the official.

According to police, Joshi, who has been with the Ambani family for several years, usually drives Akash, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani's son.

According to Joshi, he was supposed to drive Akash somewhere on December 8 morning, and decided to test the car late on previous night. He first drove to Marine Drive around 1.30 am via Pedder Road and was returning along the same route when the accident took place.

The police have also roped in forensic experts to look for fingerprints inside the car and on the outside. Joshi's fingerprints have been sent for examination and the results are awaited. 

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