Bombay HC not to expand scope of inquiry into Kamala Mills fire | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Bombay HC not to expand scope of inquiry into Kamala Mills fire

Ribeiro has sought a comprehensive fire safety audit of every eatery in Mumbai and the formation of a special investigation team to investigate the FIR registered with the NM Joshi Marg police station in connection with the fire

mumbai Updated: Mar 19, 2018 19:22 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
The December 29 Kamla Mills fire killed 14 people.
The December 29 Kamla Mills fire killed 14 people.(FILE)

The Bombay high court on Monday made it clear that it does not intend to expand the scope of inquiry into the December 29 Kamala Mills fire that killed 14 people.

“We will not expand the scope of the inquiry. We will confine it to the incident,” said a division bench of justice Shantanu Kemkar and justice Makarand Karnik, hearing a public interest litigation filed by former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Rebeiro.

Acting on the PIL, the bench on February 17 ordered setting up of a three-member committee, to be headed by a retired high court judge and comprising an architect and a town-planning expert “to look into the genesis of the unfortunate incident at Kamala Mills compound, the people responsible for the incident and to suggest changes in licensing conditions to avoid such tragedies”.

The comment came after the judges noted a clause from the draft terms of reference submitted by government pleader Purnima Kantharia. The clause required the committee to inquire why adequate land was not made available to Mhada for construction of houses for mill workers and their families. “How is this clause 5 relevant? This can’t be included in the terms of reference. There may be hundreds of problems in Mumbai, all those cannot be included in these terms of reference,” said the bench making it clear that the scope of inquiry under its order would be limited to the incident.

The court has now directed the state government to finalise the draft terms of reference afresh after consulting with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and advocate Sujay Kantawala, who represented the petitioner. The court has asked Kantawala to give his suggestions about the terms of reference of the inquiry to Kantharia by Thursday.

Ribeiro has sought a comprehensive fire safety audit of every eatery in Mumbai and the formation of a special investigation team to investigate the FIR registered with the NM Joshi Marg police station in connection with the fire. The retired IPS officer has also sought the setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into the illegalities at the Kamala Mill compound, and hold errant civic officials responsible.