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4 Mumbai fire accused sent to judicial custody

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The Bhoiwada Court has sent four of the accused in Kamala Mills fire case – co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro Yug Pathak and owners of 1Above pub Jigar Sanghvi, Kripesh Sanghvi and Abhijit Mankar – to judicial custody till January 31.

The decision was taken by the court as their police custody was getting over on Wednesday.

During the hearing, a defence lawyer objected to the police custody of the accused, saying that all grounds to seek police custody are identical to the previous remand application.

The lawyer of Pathak said: “They were already in police custody since the last 11 days, so the court should consider to not send them to the police custody anymore”.

Another defence lawyer, representing the owners of 1 Above restro-bar argued that every issue had been investigated from all angles and that the extension of police custody was not required.

“All the reports related to the incident are already in public domain. All our premises have been already sealed. There is nothing required to be seized. No statement of concerned persons remains to be recorded, so why the police custody is needed”, said the 1 Above defence lawyer.

In addition, the four accused filed their respective bail applications, which will be heard on January 22.

However, a victim in the Kamala Mill fire, named Rakesh Lakdawala, opposed the bail pleas of the accused.

Earlier, Mumbai police had arrested one of the owners of 1Above resto bar, Abhijeet Mankar.

On January 6, 1Above was found to have flouted the fire safety measures issued by the Mumbai Fire Brigade, which led to the fire on December 29.

Yug Pathak, one of the owners of Mojo’s Bistro and the son of former Pune police commissioner K.K Pathak, has also been arrested in the case.

Around 14 people were killed and 12 suffered critical injuries in the massive fire that broke out at the Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel locality here in the wee hours of December 29, 2017.

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