In a set back to the prosecution, the sessions court on Wednesday granted interim protection to the owners of the Altaf Manzil building in Mahim, which collapsed last week killing 10 people, saying that prima facie they had no role to play.
The three Furniturwala brothers, Sharif, Mohammed and Irfan, sons of the former owner of the building, had on Tuesday moved an anticipatory bail application before the sessions court. While the bail hearing will take place on July 16, the brothers have been granted protection against arrest till that date.
The trio and the owner of a car showroom, Sandeep Bafna, and owner of the basement Iqbal Ibrahim, were booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC, among other charges after advocate Rizwan Merchant filed a complaint against them.
Merchant had alleged that the brothers delayed forming a society that would have looked into the repair and maintenance of the building.
The brothers, however, contended that they were not responsible for the incident as they had transferred the property to tenants, giving them ownership rights. In their pleas, they said they were not connected with the incident and that it was an act of nature.
The court granted the Furniturwala brothers interim protection by saying, “The applicants are the owners of the premises. However, the main allegations are against Bafna, who is yet to be traced. There is no direct nexus between the applicants and Bafna.”