India teen drunk driving kills two; calls for tougher penalties

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Debate erupts in India over punishment for teen DUI offender.

INDIA, May 22: Tensions are escalating in India following an incident involving a teenager who allegedly caused the deaths of two individuals while driving under the influence. The uproar centers on the judiciary’s decision to assign a relatively lenient punishment, sparking calls for stricter penalties.

According to Maharashtra state’s deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the 17-year-old was reportedly speeding in a Porsche in Pune when the vehicle collided with a motorcycle, resulting in the fatalities. The teenager was subsequently detained and presented before the Juvenile Justice Board, where he was granted bail and ordered to serve 15 days of community service. Additionally, he was instructed to write an essay on road safety.

Fadnavis expressed surprise and dissatisfaction with the board’s ruling, particularly given the severity of the crime and recent amendments to India’s juvenile laws allowing for tougher measures in such cases. Pune police are investigating the minor for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and efforts are underway to review the bail decision.

The incident has sparked public outrage, with many questioning the adequacy of the imposed punishment. Critics argue that a more stringent approach is warranted, especially considering the tragic consequences of the teenager’s actions. Social media platforms have become inundated with calls for justice, echoing demands for accountability and stricter enforcement of laws about underage driving and alcohol consumption.

Amid the controversy, the father of the accused has been arrested for allegedly permitting his son to drive illegally, while three individuals who provided the minor with alcohol have also been detained. Authorities have pledged to pursue justice vigorously, vowing to ensure that the victims receive due compensation and that the perpetrator faces appropriate consequences.

The case has reignited debates surrounding judicial decisions in high-profile incidents, drawing parallels to previous instances where lenient verdicts elicited public outcry. As investigations continue and legal proceedings unfold, the tragedy serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of road safety and the need for comprehensive measures to prevent such incidents in the future.

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