Guidelines to give fire safety clearance ‘moronic’: Delhi HC
The guidelines put in place by the fire department to grant fire clearance certificates to restaurants drew Delhi High Court’s ire when it was informed that certificate is given on the basis of number of seats in an individual eatery and not by the capacity of the building where the it is situated.
Justice Vibhu Bakhru, while criticising the guidelines, observed that the existing fire safety norms are “moronic” and a reason for fire accidents in the city.
“It is moronic, for want of a better word. No wonder fire accidents happen. You (government) are looking at it (fire clearance) in the wrong way. You have to look at it building-wise,” the court said.
The court was hearing a plea by two restaurants in south Delhi’s Haus Khas which had challenged their sealing in the absence a fire clearance certificate. Both the eateries were running from different floors of the same building.
The single-judge bench, while issuing a notice, also noted that if a building has a separate restaurant on each of its floors, none of them would need fire clearance as long as their individual seating was below 50.
“Prima facie, fire clearance has to be looked at from the view of capacity of building as a whole and not restaurant-wise,” the court said.
The high court on Thursday sought the response of the Delhi government, the fire department and the city police on a PIL seeking regular fire safety audit in the coaching centres in the national capital.
The plea referred to the incident of the Surat fire where 21 children were charred to death in a fire at a coaching centre.