Accused showed bribes as ‘daily expenses’ in diary entries: Police

Builders Jameel Qureshi and Salim Sheikh,accused in the Lucky Compound building collapse case,have listed names of government officials

Written by Gautam S Mengle | Mumbai | Published: June 27, 2013 1:54 am

Builders Jameel Qureshi and Salim Sheikh,accused in the Lucky Compound building collapse case,have listed names of government officials and amounts paid in bribes to them as ‘daily expenses’ along with other expenses such as purchase of building material in diary entries.

Four diaries found in Qureshi’s house after his arrest led to the arrest of seven Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) officials,a corporator and a policeman. All of them allegedly accepted money in exchange for turning a blind eye to the illegal building that was built in two months and occupied immediately. The seven-storeyed building,with an eighth floor under construction,collapsed on April 4,killing 74 residents and injuring 62.

The 3,120-page chargesheet was filed before a Thane court Monday. The diaries are a significant part of the chargesheet and crucial evidence in the case,along with statements of four witnesses recorded.

“The diaries have names of government servants with amounts of money against them as part of daily expenses. They were listed along with the cost incurred for the purchase of material like cement,concrete and metal and the money paid to labour contractors and other people for the particular day,” said a Thane crime branch officer. “The four witnesses were aware of the graft and have said so in their statements,” said

the officer.

The chargesheet also says around a month before the building collapsed,a demolition team from TMC had reached Lucky Compound with JCB vehicles and had marginally damaged a second building by the same builder duo that stood next to the ill-fated building.

This was allegedly a veiled demand to the builders and a settlement was reached the same evening. The arrested officials were bribed each time Qureshi and Sheikh added a floor to the building,police said. The second building was later demolished after the April 4 collapse.

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