Dhanvanth Ganapriya Raveentharan, an Indian doctor visiting Rarotonga with his wife, appeared in criminal court yesterday before Justice of the Peace Taepae Tuteru.
The court heard that on September 14, Raveentharan drove his rental car from Super Brown in Nikao towards town.
The defendant later explained that the newlywed couple were on their way to return their vehicle to Raro Cars and catch a flight to Aitutaki.
It was revealed that Stephen Whitta and Puna were also travelling towards town, when the defendant overtook the prime minister’s car and dangerously cut in front of him.
The summary of facts said the defendant overtook Puna at such speed and with such carelessness that he was “right on Whitta’s back bumper” after re-entering the correct lane.
Puna told attending police officers that Raveentharan then continued to “recklessly” overtake Whitta at the CITC building Centre, before continuing to overtake another car, right at the bend of the Avatiu round-a-bout.
Whitta and Puna followed the defendant into the Raro Cars compound, where Raveentharan was spoken to and questioned by the two complainants.
Police were called and upon arriving at the scene, the defendant was asked to accompany the attending officers to the station for an interview.
Raveentharan admitted to the facts and allegations made by Puna and Whitta, was cautioned and charged with dangerous driving.
The 28-year-old was required to surrender his passport until all matters were dealt with.
The court was told dangerous driving holds a maximum penalty of 12 months’ imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $1000.
Raveentharan was warned, and fined $400 for the dangerous driving charge. An additional $50 was ordered for court costs.
Raveentharan was told he would have to pay the fine in order to receive his passport.
The family doctor paid the fine straight away, had his passport returned and is said to have returned home last night with his wife