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HC orders setting up of committee to probe Kamala Mills fire

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The Bombay High Court ordered setting up of a three-member committee, led by a retired high court judge, to probe into the Kamala Mills fire incident that claimed 14 lives in December last year.

The order was passed by a division bench of justices R M Borde and R G Ketkar while hearing a public interest litigation filed by former Mumbai top cop Julio Ribeiro seeking a judicial inquiry into the fire incident.

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Fourteen people were killed and over 30 injured when the fire broke out at two restaurants – 1Above and Mojos Bistro – at Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai on December 29 last year.

Observing that such incidents should not repeat in the future, the high court said that setting up of a judicial committee was the domain of the state government.

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“However, the state government is reluctant to do so. Hence, considering the facts and circumstances of the case, we need to have an independent probe,” the bench said.

The court ordered that a three-member independent committee be set up under the chairmanship of a retired high court judge.

“The two other members shall be an architect from the high court panel and an officer or a bureaucrat, who is an expert in town planning laws or a retired secretary of the Urban Development Department,” the court said.

The court posted the petition for hearing next week when the names of the members would be finalised.

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