Monday, July 22, 2024

Mumbai fatal crash: ‘Borrowed BMW’ had no insurance and PUC, claims activist


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Mumbai, July 10: The BMW car, involved in the July 7 hit-and-run incident in Worli which claimed the life of a fisherwoman, reportedly did not belong to prime accused Mihir R. Shah, son of Maharashtra Shiv Sena leader Rajesh Shah, or his father. Besides, it may have flouted other critical laws and regulations, official records suggest.

Citing data from the RTO, Thane, activist Binu Varghese said that the BMW car (MH-48-AK-4554) apparently indicates a temporary registration of the vehicle at the Vasai RTO in Palghar district.

The records say that the car belongs to one Rajesh Vasantray Doshi and the vehicle was bought and registered in May 2016, while the registration is valid till May 2031 — implying it is not owned by the former Deputy Leader of Shiv Sena Rajesh Shah or his son Mihir R. Shah. Also, the vehicle’s insurance had expired almost two months ago — and this can attract both a fine and a three-month jail term.

The RTO records reveal that the car had third-party insurance from the Future Generali India Insurance Co. (Policy No. VB772540) valid for one year, issued on May 17, 2023, which expired on May 16, 2024, with no further records available with the authorities. Similarly, the car’s Pollution Under Control Certificate (PUCC) which was issued on March 6, 2023, had also lapsed on September 5, 2023.

When contacted, a senior police official said, “We are investigating the matter from all angles and will take action against any other person/s as necessary after getting more details from the RTO.” An RTO official, speaking off the record, said that the vehicle owner as per the records (Rajesh Vasantray Doshi), may be held liable in the (July 7) accident case along with the other accused (Rajesh Shah and Mihir R. Shah).

“It is not clear whether the owner had sold or hired or lent the vehicle to the Shah family, but after the major accident with a loss of human life, all the concerned persons could possibly be booked under various laws, and we are making our enquiries,” the official told IANS. Meanwhile, Varghese took to social media to vent his concerns and said that “these are absolutely gross violations of the Motor Vehicles Act and other laws, hence all the accused must be given severe punishment”.

“The fisherwoman’s family would have been entitled to receive a decent amount, running into lakhs of rupees, by way of insurance claims. However, apparently, there is no valid insurance for this high-end-expensive (BMW) vehicle, crashing any hopes for an insurance payout now,” Varghese pointed out.

Accordingly, he wondered who would now compensate the fisherwoman’s family — the Shiv Sena leader (Rajesh Shah) or the government — or would the poor victim’s kin be left high and dry? “Other serious questions are: How did the expensive car continue to zoom around on the roads without valid insurance and a PUCC for so many months without being detected by the law enforcers in Mumbai and other districts?” Varghese said.

He further said that the government and the RTO, along with Rajesh Shah’s family, must respond to the big doubts that have arisen after the vehicle’s purported records came to light. It may be recalled that Mihir Shah, 24, who was allegedly in a drunken state, crashed the speeding BMW into a scooter — on which the fisher-couple Pradip Nakhwa and his wife Kaveri was returning home to Worli gaothan — killing the fisherwoman and sparking a massive furore.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday announced a Rs 10 lakh compensation to the family and sacked Rajesh Shah as the party’s Deputy Leader in Palghar. (Quaid Najmi can be contacted at [email protected])



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