Kamala Mills fire: Retired chief justice of Kerala HC to head probe panelmumbai Updated: Apr 03, 2018 09:51 IST
The panel will also inquire as to whether there were any violations of development control regulations, illegal consumption of the floor space index in development of the mill land and the change of user of the mill land from industrial to residential use.(FILE)
A retired chief justice of Kerala high court, justice AV Savant, will head the three-member panel appointed by the Bombay high court (HC) to probe the fire at Kamala Mills compound that claimed 14 lives. Retired bureaucrat K Nalinakshan and architect Vasant Thakur will be members of the committee.
A bench of justice Shantanu Kemkar and justice Makrand Karnik on Monday approved the names and the terms of reference for the committee, which has been ordered to submit its report by August 31.
According to the terms of reference approved by the bench on Monday, the committee will look at whether the mill land owners or owners of two roof-top restaurants where the fire started breached conditions mentioned in the no-objection certificate granted by fire officer or health officer of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, or the building permissions, and whether the breaches were the immediate cause of the fire and culpability of the owners.
The panel will also inquire as to whether there were any violations of development control regulations, illegal consumption of the floor space index in development of the mill land and the change of use of the mill land from industrial to residential use. The panel will recommend measures to avoid repetition of such unfortunate incidents in the future and steps to ensure fire safety compliance in the city.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by former Mumbai police commissioner, Julio Rebeiro, through advocate Ashish Mehta. The retired IPS officer has sought a comprehensive fire safety audit of every eatery in Mumbai and formation of a special investigation team to investigate the FIR registered with the NM Joshi Marg police station in connection with the fire.
Rebeiro has also sought setting up of a judicial commission to inquire into the illegalities purportedly committed inside the mill compound, and to hold errant civic officials responsible and take appropriate action against them.
Acting on the PIL, on February 17, the high court had ordered setting up of the three-member panel “to look into the genesis of the unfortunate incident, the people responsible for the incident and to suggest changes in licensing conditions to avoid such tragedies”.
The Maharashtra government had accordingly suggested the names of a retired high court judge, an architect and a town-planning expert.