Building Collapse: Bombay High Court refuses Shiv Sena leader’s bail

Bombay High Court today rejected bail applications of small-time Shiv Sena leader Sunil Shitap and interior designer Ranjeet Agile in the 2017 Ghatkopar building collapse incident. Shital is a local Shiv Sena leader and was running a nursing home at the ground floor of the building when the building collapsed on July 25, last year, killing 17 people in the tragedy. 22 people were also injured in the incident and rendered many homeless.

Mumbai police had investigated the case and in September the Parkside Police station had submitted the charge sheet.

After the filing of the charge-sheet, on the ground that the investigation was over, Ship and Gale had approached the Bombay high court for bail. They also told the court that the building was over three-decade-old and in dire need of repairs and they cannot be held responsible for its collapse.

12 people were killed and several are feared to be trapped as two wings of a four-storey building collapsed in eastern Mumbai’s Ghatkopar.

At least 14 fire engines, rescue vans and ambulances, besides teams of the state disaster management force, have rushed to the site.

A team of Mumbai Police, fire department and disaster management are at the spot for rescue and relief operation.

NDRF team has also been moved to Ghatkopar.

At least five victims trapped in the debris of the ill-fated Sai Darshan building have been extricated safely and a search is on for others.

The ground floor of the building had nursing and maternity hospital also.

State Housing Minister Prakash Mehta, senior officials of the BMC and others have rushed to the site to supervise rescue and relief operations.
According to the charge sheet filed by the police, there was a renovation work going on in the nursing home being run by Shitap which had ultimately led o the crash and both were charged for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The bail applications were opposed by eight family members of victims of the tragedy and two flat owners who had moved the high court as interveners and opposed the bail pleas.

They were represented by lawyers Ashish Mehta and Sujay Kantawala who had argued on behalf of the victims’ family members that Shitap had carried out unauthorised work at his property which weakened the building, resulting in its collapse.

While rejecting the bail applications, Justice AS Gadkari of the Bombay high court observed that “serious complicity has been brought on record, thus, they don’t deserve to be released on bail”.

In the lower court, the trial is yet to start against the accused.

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