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Bawana fire: Delhi court rejects cops’ plea to cancel bail of accused

A Delhi court has dismissed Delhi Police’s plea to cancel the bail of Ankit Jain, the co-accused and son of main accused Manoj Jain in the Bawana factory blaze, after he told the court he would deposit Rs 34 lakh for the families of those who died in the fire.

delhi Updated: Sep 15, 2018 10:31 IST
Richa Banka
Richa Banka
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bawana,Delhi high court,bail
On January 20, the firecracker factory in Bawana was gutted, leaving 17 workers dead.(HT File Photo)

A Delhi court has dismissed Delhi Police’s plea to cancel the bail of Ashish Jain, the co-accused and son of main accused Manoj Jain in the Bawana factory blaze, after he told the court he would deposit Rs 34 lakh for the families of those who died in the fire.

On January 20, the firecracker factory in Bawana was gutted, leaving 17 workers dead.

Special Judge Jitendra Kumar Mishra said there was no error in the order passed by the metropolitan magistrate (MM) who granted bail to the accused and Ashish Jain had moved a proposal wherein he was ready to pay to the legal heirs of the 17 deceased.

“……this court is of the view that there is no error in the order passed by the MM. Moreover, during the arguments, the counsel for non-applicant (Ashish Jain) moves a written proposal to show his intent. He is ready to make payment to the legal heirs of 17 deceased people. The proposal given by him is also accepted and he is directed to deposit Rs 34 lakh as per his own contention in three instalments,” the judge said.

The court directed the first instalment of Rs 17 lakh be deposited within 45 days of the disposal of plea filed by Delhi Police, which had sought cancellation of bail granted to Ankit on May 25. The remaining two instalments — each of Rs 8.5 lakh— should be deposited within two months of the expiry of the first 45 days.

In their plea, the police contended that there was a misinterpretation of facts before the magistrate. They said the main charge sheet has already been committed to the sessions court and so the magistrate should not have entertained the bail application of the accused.

The police also claimed the magistrate had failed to appreciate the fact that the role of the accused cannot be equated with that of the other co-accused. There were allegations that Ashish had bolted the factory door from outside as a result of which workers were unable to escape.

However, appearing for Ashish, counsel Pradeep Rana submitted that as per the statement of one of the witnesses, Roop Ram, there was no such allegation against his client. He also contended that there was no proof that the gates were bolted from the outside — the fire department had confirmed this in its report.

Following this, the court dismissed the police’s plea. It, however, made it clear that in case the amount is not deposited as per proposal, it will be a misinterpretation on behalf of the accused and the prosecution can move the court in accordance with the law.

First Published: Sep 15, 2018 03:39 IST