Rajkot game zone fire: Court notice to SIT on plea to make IPS, IAS officers accused

The ‘criminal inquiry plea’ sought FIRs against the then Rajkot police commissioner, municipal commissioner, and two IPS officers who were transferred, and nine officials suspended after the May 25 incident

Updated - May 30, 2024 10:16 am IST

Published - May 30, 2024 09:50 am IST - Rajkot

People attend the funeral of Rajkot game zone fire victims in Rajkot, on May 29, 2024.

People attend the funeral of Rajkot game zone fire victims in Rajkot, on May 29, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

A court in Gujarat's Rajkot has sought a report from the SIT probing the TRP game zone fire on a plea seeking registration of criminal cases against the IPS and IAS officers who were transferred, and others who were suspended after the tragedy.

The 'criminal inquiry plea' sought First Information Reports (FIRs) against the then Rajkot police commissioner Raju Bhargava, municipal commissioner Anand Patel, and two IPS officers who were transferred, and nine officials suspended after the May 25 incident which claimed 27 lives.

Additional judicial magistrate B.P. Thakar on Wednesday issued a notice to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), seeking a status report of its ongoing inquiry against all the officials by June 20, said lawyer Rajesh Jalu, representing petitioner Vinesh Chhaya.

The petition argued that the grounds on which these officials were transferred or suspended were enough to register an FIR.

The petitioner sought an FIR against these officials under Indian Penal Code sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt to someone by acting in a way that is rash or negligent and endangers human life or the safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt to someone by an act that endangers their life or personal safety).

Also read | Rajkot fire tragedy: Another game zone partner held; one accused died in blaze, say Police

"The reason for filing this present complaint has also arisen because 27 persons have died and other persons injured due to their carelessness in duties," the plea said.

The TRP game zone was running for the last three-four years without any permissions or licence, the petition said.

Apart from Bhargava, then Rajkot Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhirkumar Desai and Additional Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vidhi Choudhary as well as then Municipal Commissioner Anand Patel were transferred and kept on waiting for posting two days after the incident.

Among the suspended civic officials are chief fire officer Ilesh Kher, deputy chief fire officer Bhikhabhai Theba, assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant town planner Gautam Joshi, fire station officer Rahit Vigora, deputy executive engineer of roads and buildings department M.R. Suma, then assistant engineer Paras Kothia, and police inspectors V.R. Patel and N.I. Rathod.

In a related development, the court sent Kiritsinh Jadeja, the fifth accused arrested in the fire case, in eight-day police remand.

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