Former Mumbai top cop files PIL seeking SIT probe into Kamala Mills fire
In his PIL, the 89-year-old retired Indian Police Service officer has asked the court to direct the BMC to undertake fire audit of hotels, bars, restaurants and hookah parlours and submit a report to the courtmumbai Updated: Jan 10, 2018 09:29 IST
Former city police commissioner Julio Ribeiro on Tuesday moved the Bombay high court (HC) seeking a fire audit of all eateries across Mumbai and setting up of a special investigation team (SIT) of senior police officials to carry out a probe into all FIRs related to the fire in Kamala Mills compound.
A division bench of justice RM Borde and justice Rajesh Ketkar posted the PIL for further hearing on Monday, after Ribeiro’s lawyers mentioned the matter for urgent hearing, expressing the urgent need to conduct fire audit of eateries across the city.
Taking note of the high fatalities, the bench said the authorities must ensure there are some regulations governing commercial establishments and there is sufficient space to manoevre fire-fighting vehicles and equipment in case of emergencies.
In his PIL, the 89-year-old retired Indian Police Service officer has asked the court to direct the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to undertake fire audit of hotels, bars, restaurants and hookah parlours and submit a report to the court.
Ribeiro, the founding member of the Public Concern for Governance Trust, has also urged the court to set up a SIT comprising police officers not below the rank of additional commissioners of police.
Besides, the retired police officer has also sought a direction to set up a judicial commission to fix accountability on public officers, especially officials of the BMC, and private individuals, responsible for the tragic incident.
The PIL pointed to media reports exposing the civic and fire department’s inaction on the illegal alterations made inside Kamla Mills compound and contended the “convenient lethargy showed clear collusion (between civic officials and private individuals running restaurants and bars inside the mill compound”.
It raised doubts over the competence of the fire department on the basis of news reports indicating the officials, who arrived at the place of incident were without proper gear and were clueless from where they should start the evacuation.
First Published: Jan 10, 2018 09:29 IST