HC dismisses Thane civic officer, corporator’s pleas

Both have been charged in 2013 building crash that killed 76

The Bombay High Court recently dismissed applications challenging the rejection of the discharge pleas filed by a deputy commissioner of the Thane Municipal Corporation and a corporator in connection with a building collapse in 2013.

On August 4, 2013, a seven-storey building known as Adarsh-B in Lucky Compound at Shil Diaghar collapsed, killing 76 people and injuring 64. Justice A.S. Gadkari was hearing two pleas combined together, filed by Shrikant Sarmokdam, the deputy municipal commissioner, and Hira Patil, the corporator, under whose jurisdiction the building was located.

On November, 30, 2015, the additional sessions judge in Thane refused to discharge them in the case and in 2016, they filed a revision application before HC.

According to the prosecution, in the account ledger of Jamil Shaikh, the builder of the building, there is an entry of paying ₹50,000 to Mr. Sarmokdam. It is also alleged that he did not take any action against the illegal construction in the building.

The prosecution said that residents of that ward had made complaints pertaining to illegal constructions being carried out in the locality. Mr. Patil used the complaints as a tool to threaten Mr. Shaikh and extorted ₹4 lakh from him.

Both officers are charged under Sections 109 (punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 119 (public servant concealing design to commit offence which it is his duty to prevent), 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 465 (punishment for forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code and under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

The court said, “It prima facie appears that Mr. Sarmokdam was doing an undue favour to Mr. Shaikh and has accepted the said amount as illegal gratification other than a legal remuneration, thereby clearly attracting the provisions of the PC Act.”

The court thus dismissed both the applications and directed the trial court to expedite the trial and conduct it on a day-to-day basis.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:18:10 AM |

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