Police late Friday night arrested the decorator who had leased out the ground floor of Babu Genu Market in Dockyard Road. The building which collapsed Friday morning housed employees of BMCs market department. The accused,Ashokkumar J Mehta,45,was picked up from his home in Sewri.
According to police,Mehta,owner of Jain Decorators,used the ground floor of the building as a godown. He is also alleged to have carried out illegal alteration in the structures foundation,the police said.
Mehta has been charged under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder),336 (endangering life or personal safety of others),337 (causing hurt by endangering life),338 (causing grievous hurt by endangering life),268 (causing public nuisance by illegal omission),114 (presence of abettor during offence) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. He was produced before a magistrate at Bhoiwada Court Saturday morning and remanded in police custody till October 3.
He had rented a place in that building,and as per allegations had made some illegal construction in the building, said Tanaji Ghadge,Deputy Commissioner of Police,Port Zone.
Police officers at the site of the collapse Friday said that Mehta had damaged the foundation pillars of the building while creating more storage space.
We will wait for the report of the engineers to ascertain the extent of damage caused to the structure following changes carried out by Mehta.
We have charged him under Sections 34 for common intention because there is a possibility that others may also be responsible for the building collapse. The investigation is underway and we will soon find out if there was any negligence on part of the engineers who were supposed to have taken action when the building was declared unsafe, said Krishna Prakash,Additional Commissioner of Police,south region.