The Kamala Mills fire: a look at how the events unfolded

Kamala Mills fire has shaken society’s conscience: HC

The tragedy was a result of the administration’s failure to ensure adherence to fire safety norms, said HC

The tragedy was a result of the administration’s failure to ensure adherence to fire safety norms, said HC  


The Kamala Mills compound blaze, which claimed 14 lives, has shaken the conscience of society and is an eye-opener, the Bombay High Court said on Monday.

“The tragedy was a result of the administration’s failure to ensure strict adherence to fire safety norms,” a Division Bench of Justices R.M. Borde and R.G. Ketkar said, and asked the BMC to bring its house in order.

The HC was hearing a PIL filed by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, who had sought a judicial inquiry into the incident, and a direction to the government and the BMC to carry out a fire safety audit of all eateries and restaurants.

BMC’s counsel Anil Sakhare told the court that the State had directed the civic body chief, Ajoy Mehta, to submit a report. “The Commissioner is expected to submit his report by the end of this week.” The court directed the civic body to submit a copy of the report to it on the next date of hearing on February 12.

The HC also directed the corporation to file an affidavit, giving details of conditions that are to be followed before granting licence to commercial establishments to serve food and beverages.

The fire department report said the pubs did not even have the licence, the court said.

“If establishments are allowed to cook and serve food, it should be ensured that they have proper infrastructure. Even the fire safety norms have to be strictly implemented,” Justice Borde said.

The court said it is time the civic body carried out a survey of such establishments after granting licence. The court permitted the Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association to intervene in the matter.

Meanwhile, the HC permitted hotelier Vishal Karia, who was arrested in connection with the fire, to seek bail from a magistrate’s court.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 2:54:25 AM |

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