Divisional Commissioner Anurag Verma on Friday issued notice to industrialist Shital Vij to seek his version on the possible reasons for the April 15 collapse of his factory's building in Focal Point area as also the alleged violations of Factories Act in industrial units owned by him, including the one that collapsed.
"I have completed the investigation with regard to alleged violations of Factories Act and any structural default in the building that collapsed on April 15 and have now issued a notice to Shital Vij to seek his explanation before concluding my report," Verma told Hindustan Times, adding that Vij has been given five days to submit his reply.
"Deputy Director (factories) has already submitted his report on alleged violations in Vij's industrial units. In advertisements published in newspapers, Vij has claimed that the company is duly registered under the Factories Act; we have now sought documentary evidence for the same from Vij, especially with regard to the collapsed unit," Verma added.
Asked how would the notice be served on Vij, who is currently in judicial custody and under treatment at the civil hospital, the divisional commissioner said that the notice would either be served through the police commissioner or civil surgeon by Friday evening.
On when the probe by other departments like Punjab state power corporation limited (PSPCL) and Punjab pollution control board (PPSB) also completed, Verma said that his emphasis was on to probe the structural aspect of the collapsed building.
Meanwhile, industrialists' body flayed the state government for slapping a case under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against Vij.
Chamber of Small and Medium Industry president Sharad Aggarwal asked how could an industrialist be booked under such serious charges for a tragedy or mishap of such kind. "All industrial units are exposed to some accident-prone routines and it is not right to book an industrialist for any mishap, which is not in his control," he said.
Jalandhar Chamber of Commerce and Industry organising secretary Vinay Gupta said, "Such a case against Vij has created fear among all industrialists and ultimately lead to corruption by administration and police, who may threat any industrialist of slapping a case under Section 304 for any mishap at their units," he said.