March 20, 2021 10:41:22 am
After family members of three patients who died in the fire at Shrey Hospital in August 2020 moved Gujarat High Court seeking its directions to the retired judge DA Mehta Inquiry Commission to permit the victim families to be examined as well as to direct the Commission to share documents pertaining to the incident with the petitioners, the high court on Friday issued notice to the respondents, including the state government and the (retd) Justice DA Shah Inquiry Commission.The notice has been kept returnable for April 5.
The court of Justice Vipul Pancholi in its order opined that it is of the view that “this petition cannot be dismissed at the threshold and it requires detailed hearing.” In view of this, the court also granted interim relief to the petitioners, restraining the inquiry commission from pronouncing its report pending final disposal of the petition before the Gujarat HC.”
Petitioners Kalpit Shah, who lost his grandfather and uncle, and Samir Mansuri, who lost his brother in the Shrey Hospital blaze, represented by senior advocate Percy Kavina, have challenged the order passed by the Inquiry Commission, by which, the applications submitted by the petitioners asking for certified copies of all the documents of the Shrey Hospital fire case and also seeking permission to visit ICU Ward with their personal photographer, were rejected.
Justice Pancholi also noted in his order, “This Court is also conscious of the fact that the respondent no.2 ((retd) Justice DA Mehta Inquiry Commission)…is undertaking the fact finding inquiry and, therefore, the petitioners have very limited right under the provisions of the (Commission of Inquiries) Act of 1952 and the Gujarat Rules. However prima facie, this Court is of the view that during the fact finding inquiry, the petitioners are not third party or stranger but…they are near relatives of the deceased patients and, therefore, they are on the contrary interested to see that the respondent no.2 can find out correct facts.”
Holding the petition to be maintainable, Justice Pancholi accepted senior counsel Kavina’s submissions that the petitioners are “interested and affected persons” and that they have “valuable legal right” and thus if “available record is not given to them, they cannot effectively assist the Commission…”
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