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Mumbai jogger’s death: Police says alcohol found in accused’s blood way above permissible limit, opposes bail plea

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The alcohol limit of a man accused of running over and killing a jogger was 137 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood, much higher than the 30mg per 100 ml permissible content set as per the Motor Vehicles Act, Mumbai police said while opposing his bail plea.

Rajalakshmi Ramakrishnan, a tech firm CEO, was hit by a speeding car during her morning walk on the Worli seaface promenade last week.

Accused Sumer Merchant, who was allegedly driving the vehicle, has claimed in his bail plea that he did not see the woman since it was a blind spot.

Police, in its written response filed before the court, also contended the vehicle was at a speed of 95-100 kilometres per hour.

The police also said they were probing if there was any “foul play” in the incident.

The court will hear Merchant’s bail argument on April 5.

The magistrate’s court had earlier refused him bail in the case after holding that there appeared to be no blind spot on that road stretch as per record and photographs.

Earlier in the day, the victim’s husband had told court the “reckless act” of the motorist had not only traumatised the family but also runners and fitness enthusiasts in the city, the victim’s husband told a court here on Friday.

The victim’s husband Vijay Ramakrishnan had moved an intervention plea seeking to be heard in the bail proceeding of Merchant. His intervention plea was allowed by the court on Friday.

Ramakrishnan, in his plea, said the investigation in the case is in progress and the charges levelled against the accused are serious.

“The accused has behaved and acted in the most reckless, negligent, socially and morally irresponsible manner causing grave irreparable loss and trauma not only to the intervenor, but also to all pedestrians, runners and fitness enthusiasts in the city,” stated the plea, which was filed through advocate Hemant Ingle.

It further mentioned that the two crucial witnesses are friends of the accused who have testified before the police that “the accused was driving the car in a drunken state in a rash and negligent manner”.

The duo has stated that in fact they tried to stop him, but the accused continued to drive recklessly and killed the deceased on the spot, Ramakrishnan’s plea said.

“It is the case of the prosecution that the accused along with others was driving rashly and negligently under the influence of alcohol and/or narcotics and psychotropic substances at speeds beyond permissible limits and dashed the deceased causing her death instantaneously,” it stated.

Merchant, in his bail application before the sessions court, blamed sharp turns on the road for the accident and claimed that it was a blind spot for drivers.

The intervenor, however, cited that the topography of the place of accident does not even remotely suggest that there was any blind spot.


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