The Mahim police on Thursday made its first arrest in connection with the collapse of a part of Aftab Manzil on June 10,in which ten people were killed,after the Session court rejected Iqbal Ebrahims application seeking interim protection against the arrest. Ebrahim,who owned a car showroom on the ground floor of the building,was arrested from outside the court soon after his application was rejected.
According to the prosecution,Ebrahims showroom was responsible for the buildings collapse. While rejecting his application,the court observed on Thursday that Ebrahims custodial interrogation was essential in the case.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant,who lost three family members in the collapse,appeared as an intervener in the case and vehemently opposed the application stating that the structure was weakened because of structural changes made in the showroom. At the time of the collapse,this showroom was leased to one Sandeep Bafna,who is also an accused named in the FIR filed by Merchant.
Appearing for Ebrahim,advocate V M Talreja argued that his client had been falsely implicated in the entire case and was not responsible for the disaster. Claiming that residents of the building had never complained of the alterations in the structure,Talreja argued that it was Bafna who had been using the space since 2008.
Merchant opposed the application quoting structural engineer Chetan Raikars report,which was prepared after the collapse. As per the structural engineer Chetan Raikars report,the columns,beams and the RCC frame of Aftab Manzil was damaged because of the illegal alterations made by the accused along with Bafna, Merchant argued.
Immediately after the structural changes were allegedly made,Merchant had complaint to the BMC about the alleged illegal work.
On June 10,the building had collapsed killing 10 persons. While the building owners have been granted interim protection both by the sessions and the Bombay High Court till July 1,Bafna has not moved the court,as yet.