The Bombay High Court permitted families of victims of the July 2017 building collapse incident in Ghatkopar to intervene in the bail hearing of Shiv Sena leader and prime accused in the case Sunil Shitap.
Justice AS Gadkari of Bombay HC admitted the intervention application filed by 11 families who lost their loved ones and their homes to the incident.
A four-storeyed residential building had collapsed in suburban Ghatkopar on July 25 last year, killing 17 people and injuring scores.
An inquiry conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation pinned a major part of the blame for the incident on Shitap. Shitap had bought two flats on the ground floor of the building and had allegedly made unauthorised structural changes to the same.
The police arrested Shitap and booked him on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Shitap denied all charges and applied for bail in the HC after a trial court rejected the same in November last year.
The interveners, however, approached HC too opposing the bail application filed by Shitap, urging the court to not grant him any relief.
They have claimed in their intervention application that Shitap and his family members bought flats on the ground floor of the collapsed building and converted the usage of the premises owned by them from residential to commercial without any prior permissions or consent of society.
They have alleged that he carried out “extensive alterations in the flats, removed all load bearing internal walls, and also removed six columns and beams of the collapsed building.”
This, they alleged, altered and weakened the building’s foundational structure.
HC will hear the bail plea as well as the intervention application after two weeks.