The Bombay High Court Friday rapped the Thane police for their lack of “empathy” in conducting investigations into a 2013 building collapse in Mumbra in which 74 people were killed. Terming the police probe report on the incident as an “eyewash,” a bench of Justices RM Savant and Sadhana Jadhav said that the authorities should “show some sensitivity towards the victims.”
“Since the last four years you have done nothing and now after the public interest litigation has been filed you are going to record statements of material suppliers. The suppliers will say they didn’t supply the material and that would be the end of the matter,” said the court.
The Bench also pointed out that given the fact that all accused were out on bail, they could tamper with evidence in the case. “There is really no sensitivity on part of the probe team. This is certainly not the way to proceed with a case,” added the court.
Referring to a recent report submitted by Commissioner of Police (crime branch) which was supposed to provide information regarding further probe being carried out by the police, the court said, “We have perused the report and do not find any material which has occurred from the last date of hearing till today.”
The court held that after the court’s order in June, investigators for the first time recorded the statements of eight persons who are all police officers. “Take steps before the next hearing. A further report should be filed within four weeks,” added the High Court. The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking an expedited probe into the 2013 incident of the collapse of a seven-storey building in Thane called Adarsh located inside Lucky Compound.
In all, 74 people were killed and 62 injured when the structure, which was under construction, collapsed. The dead included 18 children. Two builders of the structure, civic officials, police officers, a local journalist and material suppliers were among the accused in this matter.