Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Lawyer urges CJ to take up suo-motu PIL urging those responsible be booked | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Lawyer urges CJ to take up suo-motu PIL urging those responsible be booked

May 26, 2024 06:46 AM IST

A lawyer urged the Bombay high court to take up a suo-motu PIL following the Ghatkopar billboard collapse that killed 17, highlighting negligence and the need for accountability.

MUMBAI: Raising serious concerns about public safety after the Ghatkopar billboard collapse on May 13, which killed 17 people and injured 74, a lawyer wrote a letter to the chief justice of the Bombay high court urging him to take up a suo-motu public interest litigation asserting that it was necessary to identify all those responsible for the incident, including government officials.

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In her letter to CJ Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya, advocate Sunita Banis stated that witness accounts and a preliminary probe by the police have revealed that there was gross negligence on the part of the owner and the authorities responsible for the erection and maintenance of the billboard.

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Her letter added that the catastrophe which took place on May 13, has not only caused immeasurable grief to the affected families but also raised serious concern about public safety, regulatory oversight, and accountability at the hands of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.

“The lives lost, and the injuries sustained are a stark reminder of the urgent need for stringent safety measures and accountability in public infrastructure management,” advocate Banis said in her letter addressed to the CJ.

She has sought the court’s intervention by initiating suo-motu PIL to ensure a thorough and impartial investigation into the horrifying incident, to identify the responsible parties, including government officials, regulatory bodies, and private contractors whose negligence contributed to this disaster.

She has also stressed the need to evaluate the compliance of existing safety regulations concerning the installation and maintenance of billboards and similar structures reviewing the existing legal framework to prevent such incidents and recommend necessary reforms. Advocate Banis also asserted that it was necessary to ensure that victims’ families received adequate compensation and support.

A massive hoarding erected by Ego Media Pvt Ltd, an advertising firm, in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar East, collapsed after a short spell of unseasonal rain and gusty winds on May 13. The massive billboard fell on a busy petrol pump, trapping close to 100 people under it, 17 of whom died, and around 74 others suffered injuries.

The Pant Nagar police have arrested Bhavesh Bhinde, the owner of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, after booking him under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

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