A Delhi court on Thursday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of a man, alleged co-owner of the fire-cracker storage unit in Bawana where 17 people were killed in a massive blaze, saying the allegations against him were “serious”.
Additional Sessions Judge Sukhvinder Kaur rejected the application filed on behalf of Lalit Goyal, whom the police has been referring to as a “partner” of factory owner Manoj Jain, who is already in police custody in connection with the probe in the January 20 fire tragedy.
“The allegations against the accused (Goyal) are serious in nature and matter is at the initial stage of investigation. 17 persons died in the incident.
“In facts and circumstances, I do not find it a case for grant of anticipatory bail to Goyal at this stage. Hence the application is dismissed,” the judge said.
Goyal, in his plea, claimed that he was just a servant in the factory and was neither named in the FIR nor was he present in the factory at the time of the incident.
Opposing his plea, additional public prosecutor Shiv Kumar submitted that the statements of two injured victims had been recorded before a magistrate in which they have stated that Goyal was a partner in the factory.
Advocate Rishipal Singh, appearing for victim Soni, who died along with her unborn child in the tragedy, argued that as per the statements of injured victims Roop Prakash and Sunita Devi, Goyal was present at the spot when the incident took place, contrary to the claims of the accused.
The court had yesterday sent Manoj Jain, who was arrested on January 21, to five days police custody considering the gravity of the incident.
The police had told the court that the custody of Jain was required to nab the absconding co-accused Lalit Goyal.
The court was informed that the accused were running the factory without any licence and the explosive materials were procured from outside Delhi.
The probe agency had claimed that the explosive materials were brought into the city without any permission or checking and it wanted the custody of the accused to verify whether he was running any other such illegal enterprises.
The fire had started in the storage unit on the ground floor of the two-storey building on January 20 and ripped through the structure. Of the 17 killed, 10 were women. A man and woman were also injured.
An FIR was registered under various provisions of the IPC relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material. The maximum punishment for the offences is 10 years.