Kamala Mills fire: Mumbai sessions court rejects bail plea of Mojo’s Bistro owner

Mumbai advocate Prakash Shetty, appointed as special public prosecutor, said the fire originated owing to the exhaust fan and flammable articles at Mojo’s Bistro

mumbai Updated: Jan 12, 2018 23:19 IST
Charul Shah
Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
Kamala Mills fire,Mojo’s Bistro,Bombay high court
The prosecution said the restaurant did not have permission for smoking zone, but still continued to serve hookah.(HT File)

The sessions court on Friday rejected the anticipatory bail plea filed by Yug Tuli, one of the directors of Mojo’s Bistro, in connection with the Kamala Mills fire that killed 14 people and injured 55.

Tuli’s lawyer will now approach Bombay high court on Monday, seeking protection. Tuli had approached the sessions court on Monday, alleging that fire originated from 1Above and not from Mojo’s Bistro. He also questioned s report submitted by the fire department.

The prosecution had objected to Tuli’s plea, saying witnesses, who were diners at Mojo’s Bistro, said the fire originated at the restaurant. They said that according to the police, various videos, which could be considered key evidence, corroborate the statements of these witnesses. The prosecution said investigations revealed that hookahs used at Mojo’s Bistro were responsible for the blaze.

Advocate Prakash Shetty, appointed as special public prosecutor, said the fire originated owing to the exhaust fan and flammable articles at Mojo’s Bistro. “The fire later spread owing to the cotton curtains, wooden bamboo sticks and tarpaulin. The fire then moved to 1Above and gutted both restaurants,” Shetty said.

The prosecution said the restaurant did not have permission for smoking zone, but still continued to serve hookah.

Countering the prosecution’s case, Tuli’s lawyer Shyam Diwani said the fact that none of the diners at Mojo’s Bistro were killed or hurt indicates that the fire did not originate there. “Our safety measures were in place. No one was hurt as we managed to get our staff to help them,” Diwani said.

Diwani said the fire department’s report, which states that the blaze began at Mojo’s Bistro, was “manipulated and amusing”. He alleged the report was based only on unverified social media posts.

The prosecution however, said the reports were based on the accounts of eyewitnesses, whose statements the police recorded. The police are, however, yet to record the statements of those who are still hospitalised.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 23:19 IST