Pune Porsche Case: Examining the Legal Path for a Juvenile Offender

On May 19th, 2024, a horrible event occurred in the busy metropolis of Pune. A 17-year-old teenager was inebriated when he hit a motorbike, killing two persons in the accident. What’s more astonishing is that the Juvenile Justice Board granted him bail within 15 hours of his arrest. This caused a lot of angst on the board. Subsequently induced the board to reconsider its decision and place the accused in an observation home until June 5th, 2024.

Given the remarkable turns this case has taken thus far, the key question is whether this Minor should be tried as an adult.

                     [Hindustan Times: 26.05.24]                                                                               [ThePrint]

What truly happened

  1. On 19th May 2024, a 17-year-old boy was drunk driving a Porsche in Pune and the juvenile killed 2 motorbike riders. The victims were engineers hailing from Madhya Pradesh.
  2. FIR reporting the accident was filed by friends of the victims at Yerwada Police Station, where the tragedy attracted public attention.
  3. Police investigated and discovered in the CCTV footage a drunk adolescent driving the vehicle at an estimated speed of 160 km/h when it collided with the victim’s motorbike.
  4. The accused is the son of a real estate developer. On 21st May, the police detained his father under sections 75 and 77 of the Juvenile Justice Act for permitting his teenage son to drink alcohol and drive the car without a license under the Motor Vehicle Act. The businessman was held in police custody until May 31st.
  5. The Pune Excise Department closed two bars in Pune that reportedly sold alcohol to the minor prior to the accident.
  6. The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) granted the minor bail (within 15 hours of his arrest) on fulfillment of either of the following conditions:
    1. Work with traffic police in Yerwada for 15 days.
    2. Write an essay on accidents.
    3. Undergo treatment for his drinking problem.
    4. Attending counseling sessions.

However, given the gravity of the situation and the public indignation, the police requested a reconsideration of the bail grant. As a result, the JJB revoked the minor’s bail and assigned him to an observation home. The accused faces charges under several provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

How does a minor get tried as an adult?

According to section 15 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, the JJB is solely responsible for determining whether a person is categorized as a juvenile (a minor: someone under the age of 18 at the time of committing an offence). A child can be prosecuted as an adult for one of three categories of crimes:

  1. Petty Offences: These are crimes punishable by up to 3 years of imprisonment under the Indian Penal Code, such as causing death by negligence, assault, or forgery.
  2. Serious Offences: These involve crimes with punishments under the IPC that include:
    1. 3 to 7 years of imprisonment, such as attempting to commit culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, or cheating.
    2. More than 7 years of imprisonment without a specified minimum or with a minimum of less than 7 years, such as culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
  3. Heinous Offences: These are the most severe crimes with a minimum punishment of 7 years or more in prison under the IPC, such as murder, rape, or dacoity.

Under the JJ Act of 2015, if a child is reported to have committed a heinous crime, the Board must examine the following:

  1. Age: The minor must be between 16 and 18 years old.
  2. Nature of Offence: The offense must be classed as a heinous crime, which is defined by the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as a criminal punishable by at least seven years in prison.
  3. Preliminary Assessment: The assessment focuses on the minor’s mental and physical capability to conduct the offense, as well as their understanding of the consequences of the offense and the circumstances surrounding the alleged offense. The board disregards this condition following Section 15 of the Act.
  4. When the board finds that the juvenile should be tried as an adult, the matter is transferred to the Children’s Court (created as Special Courts under the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act of 2005). This Special Court has the jurisdiction to trial the minor as an adult and impose punishments if convicted of the offence.
  5. The minor is granted various rights, including legal representation throughout the procedures.
  6. Rehabilitation and Reform: The justice system’s primary focus is on the rehabilitation and reformation of minors, for which the court may impose suitable remedies and punishments. Meanwhile, the court may even transfer such youngsters to an observation home.

Should a Minor be tried as an Adult?

In the present case, the offense committed is a Serious Offence under section 304 (Culpable homicide) of IPC and not a Heinous Offense, hence the trial of a minor as an adult does not apply and the accused is entitled to bail which was validly granted by JJ Board.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pratap Singh v. State of Jharkhand (2005) ruled out the significance of the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice, 1985 (Beijing Rules) that are set for the trial procedures:

  • It considers the trial procedure for adult criminals and the rules applicable to them to be unsuitable for juveniles. Imposing restrictions and penalizing juveniles must be the last resort.
  • The rules also recognize the fundamentals of the criminal justice system as one of the rights of juveniles, i.e., juveniles must be considered innocent concerning prosecution.
  • Juveniles must be informed regarding the charges and given counseling.
  • They have a right to remain silent during investigation or interrogation.
  • Their prosecution is done in the presence of their parents or guardians, according to the rules.
  • Their right to appeal is recognized under the convention.


  1. Indian Penal Code 1960
  1. Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015
  1. Akshat Jain (May 28, 2024) “Pune Porsche Case: Can the 17-year-old accused be treated as an adult? Here’s what the law says”   ThePrint
  1. Anirudh Nikhare (May 24, 2024) “Pune Porsche Accident: Story So Far” FinologyLegal,to%20drive%20without%20a%20license.
  1. Sanchari Ghosh (May 27, 2024) “Pune Porsche crash case: Two doctors from Sassoon General Hospital arrested for blood sample tampering” LiveMint
  2. Sushant Kulkarni (May 28, 2024) “Pune Porsche crash case: How DNA Analysis of ‘secret’ sample helped cops nail sample swap” India Express
  1. Monesh Mehndiratta (October 12, 2023) “Landmark Juvenile Supreme Court cases in India” iBlogPleaders
By Arya Naga
Legal Intern at Singhania&Co LLP

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