Gujarat HC holds Morbi civic body officer responsible for bridge collapse

It also sought a detailed report on similar bridges in the state and its status report within 10 days and initiated suo motu public interest litigation in the incident.

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Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Arvind Kumar on Thursday held
Morbi Nagar Palika Chief Officer S.V. Zala responsible for the October 30 bridge collapse which claimed 135 lives.

"The Morbi Nagar Palika Chief Officer S.V.Zala is prima facie guilty of dereliction of duty and even the affidavit filed by the Nagar Palika lacks details," a division bench of Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice A.J. Shastri observed.

It also sought a detailed report on similar bridges in the state and its status report within 10 days and initiated suo motu public interest litigation in the incident.

During the hearing, the court opined, "We are not satisfied with the compensation amount paid to the families of the deceased, a family should get at least Rs 10 lakh compensation."

The court was annoyed to see castes mentioned against the names of some of the deceased. On court inquiry, Advocate General replied that if there is any other scheme or programme under which the family is entitled to benefit, it is worth identifying the same.

The Chief Justice has also asked for government files related to the matter and details on when the SIT report was submitted before the lower court.


"It is high time that all officials who are either monitoring, managing, controlling and administering such bridges across the state should ensure that the bridges in their jurisdictions are in proper condition and if not, remedial actions should be taken."

The matter was kept for further hearing on December 12.

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