The motorist, who allegedly ran over and killed a 57-year-old jogger at Worli in south Mumbai, has claimed that he had partied with friends hours before the accident, but had not consumed alcohol.
The accused Sumer Merchant made the claim in the statement given to the police, which is part of the chargesheet filed recently before a court.
The chargesheet, citing his blood sample report, stated that the alcohol content in Merchant’s blood was 137 mg in 100 ml, which is way above the permissible limit.
Rajalakshmi Ramakrishnan, a tech firm CEO, was hit by a speeding car during her morning walk on the Worli seaface promenade on March 19.
Merchant (23), in his statement, said that he had gone to America for work for 15 days and returned to India on March 15.
After returning home, Merchant met his school and office friends and decided to have a party on March 18, and they had gone to a restaurant in Kamala Mills area.
The accused claimed that during the party some of his friends consumed alcohol, but he didn’t.
“Some of my friends there consumed alcohol, but I didn’t feel like drinking alcohol because I wasn’t getting enough sleep. So I didn’t drink alcohol,” his statement read.
Once the restaurant closed at 1.30 am (on March 19), the accused came home with his friends.
Merchant claimed that he was on his way to drop a friend, when a woman suddenly came in front of his car while he was crossing Worli Dairy.
“I tried to control the car and swerve to the right, but I could not because of the high speed of the car. So the woman came in front of my car and the car hit the road divider on the right side,” the statement said.
When the accused got down from the car and went to the woman, he found her lying on her back and not breathing, he said, adding that the police had come to the place in no time and took the injured woman and him to Nair Hospital.
Witnesses Sylvester Pereira and Kunal Rumde in their statement said that they had parked their car on the opposite side of the road.
The duo alleged that Merchant was driving his car at high speed and he “looked inebriated”.
When Merchant saw that the woman was hit severally, he asked his friend to leave, they said, adding that they managed to stop the duo and called the police and ambulance.
Merchant has moved another bail plea before the court post filing of the chargesheet in the case. His plea will be heard on May 31.
Earlier, both the magistrate and sessions courts had denied him bail.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)