The police in Madhya Pradesh’s Jabalpur booked five people, four partners and the manager of New Life Multi-Speciality Hospital, Tuesday, a day after eight people were killed and five others injured in a fire that broke out at the private facility in the city.
The manager, identified as Ram Soni, has been arrested whereas the four partners — Dr Nishit Gupta, Dr Suresh Patel, Dr Sanjay Patel and Dr Santosh S — are on the run, said the police.
Superintendent of police Siddharth Bahuguna told The Indian Express: “The First Information Report (FIR) has been registered against the four partners and the manager after instances of gross negligence, such as no proper fire equipment and no planning in entry and exits, were found.”
The FIR has been registered under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)’s Section 304 for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and Section 308 for attempt to commit culpable homicide, added Bahuguna.
According to officials, the hospital in the Chandal Bhata area did not have a proper no-objection certificate (NOC) and a notice was issued to the chief medical and health officer (CMHO) who is the licensing authority over the non-compliance of fire safety norms by the hospital.
“Prima facie it seems that the chief medical and health officer, after getting the notice, had issued a subsequent notice to the hospital but it is all being verified. An inquiry ordered by the chief minister is being conducted by the divisional commissioner and all facts will be verified,” a senior official, requesting anonymity, told The Indian Express.
The fire broke out at 2:40 pm on Monday in the generator room of the hospital owing to a fluctuation in voltage, according to officials. It soon engulfed the building, blocking the single entry and exit to the hospital.
Seven people were rescued from the building after they were found in an unconscious state lying in the corridor with massive burn injuries.
Jabalpur collector Dr Ilayaraja T said on Monday an inquiry headed by an additional district magistrate was ordered into the accident. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 for the injured.