THE bail application for accused hit and run driver Puneet Puneet has been rejected by India’s highest court, paving the way for him to be extradited to Australia for a hearing set down for May 22.
“We were hoping to get bail, but we are not surprised by the decision,” said Puneet’s lawyer, Mr Harinath Ram. “My client is not happy, but we will continue to fight the attempts to carry him to Australia where we will argue that he will not receive a fair trial.”
Puneet is accused of being behind the wheel on the night of October 1, 2008, when Queensland student Dean Hofstee and his friend Clancy Coker were hit by a white Holden Commodore on City Road in Melbourne’s South Bank.
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19 year old Gold Coaster Dean was killed and Mr Coker was seriously injured.
Police estimate that Puneet was driving in excess of 150 kilometres an hour when he lost control of the car.
Following the crash, learner driver Puneet registered a blood alcohol reading of 0.165, but told police he’d only had four drinks. He later admitted he’d been drinking whisky and code for colleagues for several hours.
Puneet attended his 2009 trial at the Melbourne County Court and pleaded guilty to culpable driving charges, before using a friend’s passport to flee to India before a verdict was delivered.
Puneet has managed to evade police for more than four years, before being re-captured in November last year.
“The fate of my client will now be decided by the honourable Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate for Delhi,” Mr Ram told Fairfax Media.