The Bombay High Court Monday granted time to Sandeep Bafna (43),the owner of the automobile showroom on the ground floor of the Altaf Manzil building in Mahim that collapsed on June 10,claiming ten lives,for moving the Supreme Court.
The court said Bafna,whose anticipatory bail application was rejected by a single judge of the court on October 11,need not surrender until October 24.
Bafnas lawyers Subhash Jha and Samir Vaidya contended that after the single judge rejected his anticipatory bail application,he could not immediately challenge the order in the Supreme Court as it was closed for Durga Puja. They argued that Bafna had not tried to evade arrest and had been diligently following proceedings before various courts.
Intervener in the case,lawyer Rizwan Merchant,who lost three of his family members in the building collapse,opposed the grant of relief to Bafna,and argued that Bafna had never come before the sessions court in the past four months and has been an absconder.
A division bench of the court,however,granted time to Bafna to move the Supreme Court and asked him to hand over his passport to the investigating officer from the Mahim police station.