Arguing for lawyer Janhavi Gadkar to be released on bail, her advocate said that the traffic authorities were maligning the law fraternity by putting up posters which show two cars colliding and depict a lawyer’s white collar with a caption “No one is above the law, not even the law”.
Her advocate added that there was no reason to “tamper” with evidence, if Gadkar was released. “Their investigation is all over. What is there to tamper with? They should and they must’ve taken adequate precaution. There is no allegation that I have tried to influence the police or tampered with evidence until now and there is no material to corroborate such allegations,” Gadkar’s lawyer Mahesh Sabnis argued.
Gadkar was allegedly speeding at 120 kmph in her Audi Q3 and collided with a taxi, killing the driver and a passenger in it. Gadkar only sustained a few bruises as the Audi’s airbags opened and saved her.
Sabnis argued that 44 days had lapsed since Gadkar’s arrest and witness statements had been recorded and medical tests had been done.
“If they feel that the witnesses can turn hostile, the police should have taken their statements in front of the magistrate.”
According to Gadkar’s lawyer, Ashwin Thool, her first bail application was rejected by a magistrate on the grounds that merely 17 days had passed since the incident and the investigation was ongoing. “These grounds have now ceased to exist,” the lawyer said.
Sabnis also contended that Gadkar’s conduct has been good and she “came back to the police station in spite of her injuries”, a day after the incident.
The lawyer submitted that there was a presumption that lawyers tampered with evidence.
“In fact, we are law abiding citizens. This is the allegation they are making against lawyers in general,” he told the court.
He also questioned the posters put up by the traffic department which had reportedly come up after Gadkar’s accident. “What do they mean by the quote? And which legal fraternity are they talking about? Including the judges? What kind of malicious propaganda is this? If a policeman is drunk, we don’t malign the entire force,” he said.
The prosecution argued that the report presented by the investigating officer showed that the investigation had not ended.
The court is likely to pronounce its order on the bail appeal on July 24.