IPS officer suspended in Mumbai hoarding collapse case

The suspension order was issued by the Home Department citing “gross irregularities” and “administrative lapses”

Published - June 25, 2024 10:49 pm IST - Mumbai

Debris at the site after a 100-foot tall illegal billboard fell on a petrol pump on Monday due to rains and dust storms, in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai on May 16, 2024. File

Debris at the site after a 100-foot tall illegal billboard fell on a petrol pump on Monday due to rains and dust storms, in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai on May 16, 2024. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Maharashtra government has suspended the Additional Director General, Protection of Civil Rights and former Commissioner of Police, Railways, Mumbai, in the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse incident of May 13 that killed 17 and injuring over 70.

Mr. Khalid, an Indian Police Service officer, was the then Commissioner of Police, Railways, Mumbai when the incident occurred on May 13.

The suspension order was issued by the Home Department on Tuesday.

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“A report was submitted by the Director General of Police, Maharashtra State... has clearly mentioned the gross irregularities and administrative lapses in sanctioning the hoarding that collapsed on May 13, 2024,” the government order reads.

“Government of Maharashtra is satisfied that it is necessary and desirable Shri Md. Quaiser Khalid under suspension...” the order states.

Mr. Khalid sanctioned the hoarding, on his own, without approval of the Director General of Police office and in respect of the misuse of powers by allowing massive hoarding size of 120 x 150 square ft. deviating from the approved norms.

A committee chaired by former Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Dilip Bhosle was formed by the State government on June 10 to probe into the hoarding collapse incident.

Mumbai Police Crime Branch team brings Bhavesh Bhinde, an accused in the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse case, from Udaipur, at the Mumbai Airport on May 16, 2024. His company put up the giant billboard in Ghatkopar. File

Mumbai Police Crime Branch team brings Bhavesh Bhinde, an accused in the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse case, from Udaipur, at the Mumbai Airport on May 16, 2024. His company put up the giant billboard in Ghatkopar. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The police had arrested the director of Ego Media, the hoarding’s owner, Bhavesh Bhinde and its former staff Janhavi Marathe and Sagar Patil. A structural engineer, who had issued a stability certificate allegedly without carrying out proper inspection is also behind the bars.

After the incident, an independent report found the structure’s foundation to be weak and unable to withstand 87 kmph wind speed the day dust storm hit Mumbai. The structure was designed to withstand only up to 49 kmph of wind speed.

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