Final Up to date: January 25, 2023, 20:33 IST
The Gujarat Excessive Court docket agreed to the Oreva Group’s supply on Wednesday to pay compensation to the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse that left 135 useless and a number of other injured however mentioned it’s going to “not absolve it of any liability”.
Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Restricted) was chargeable for the operation and upkeep of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river that collapsed on October 30 final 12 months, with a particular investigation staff fashioned by the state authorities citing a number of lapses on the a part of the agency.
The corporate’s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati instructed the division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri, which is listening to a suo motu plea on the tragedy, that it maintained the cable-stayed construction as a part of its “philanthropic activities” and never a “commercial venture”.
The corporate, which was impleaded as a respondent within the case, provided to pay compensation to the households of the 135 deceased, 56 injured individuals and 7 orphaned kids, to which the courtroom directed it to file an affidavit and noticed that such an act “would not absolve it of any liability, either directly or vicariously”.
The corporate “fairly admits that payment of such compensation should in no way prejudice the rights of any other parties”, the courtroom mentioned.
“We make it clear that the payment of compensation even by the 7th respondent (Oreva) to the victims or relatives should not absolve it of any liability either directly or vicariously,” it mentioned.
“It is also made clear that the proceedings initiated against the (Oreva) by other authorities namely the instrumentality of state, be it revenue or police authorities, shall be taken to its logical end without any reference to the payment of this compensation,” the courtroom additional mentioned.
It directed Oreva to deposit the quantity with the state to allow them to take additional steps within the matter.
“It was an old bridge, a heritage bridge…Some other entities – very, very highly posted, I do not want to name them – persuaded me to take over and maintain,” Nanavati mentioned in his submission on behalf of his shopper.
An arrest warrant has been issued towards Managing Director of Oreva Jaysukh Patel, whereas he has filed for anticipatory bail plea in Morbi courtroom.
The excessive courtroom on Wednesday additionally pulled up the Morbi municipality and mentioned it has did not disclose in its affidavit “as to how the seventh respondent (Oreva Group) was permitted to use the bridge from December 29, 2021 till it was closed on March 7, 2022”.
It mentioned rival contentions confirmed that Oreva was “using the bridge despite there being no approval for its utilisation”. “It would also emerge from the said affidavit that the agreement dated Mar 8, 2022, was not formally approved by the general body of the municipality,” it mentioned.
In an oral comment, it mentioned an inference could possibly be drawn that there was collusion between the civic physique and Oreva.
In its affidavit on the situation of bridges, the state authorities mentioned there are 23 bridges that require main repairs and 40 minor repairs. Work on 27 of those bridges is accomplished, it mentioned.
The federal government additionally mentioned there was a necessity for the formulation of a uniform coverage with regard to the upkeep of bridges to be adopted by the developmental authorities and such a coverage is beneath energetic consideration.
The courtroom directed the federal government to put on report any coverage determination so taken on this regard. It additionally directed the state authorities to hold out work on “war footing” on the 23 bridges that require main repairs.
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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)