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Court grants relief to Furniturewala brothers

Says they have no direct link with the mishap

Written by Express News Service | Published: June 20, 2013 1:42:10 am

Noting that there was no direct link between the Altaf Manzil collapse and Irfan,Sharif and Mohammed Furniturewala,who have been named in an FIR filed by Mahim police on June 15,a sessions court granted the brothers interim relief Wednesday till July 16 against a surety of Rs 25,000 each.

“There’s no direct nexus of the accused (Furniturewala) with the alleged crime,” it said.

The collapse on June 10 killed 10 people,including four minors.

The court observed the shopkeepers on the ground floor of the building and others could be the culprits.

The brothers have been named accused with furniture shop owner Sandeep Bafna, car showroom owner Iqbal Ebrahim and BMC officials by noted criminal lawyer Rizwan Merchant,who lost his mother,wife and a minor son in the mishap.

The court is expected to hear anticipatory bail applications of the Furniturewalas again on July 16.

The Furniturewalas denied a claim by Merchant and families of other victims of ill-maintenance,saying they seized to hold stake in the building in 2007.

The accused,instead,blamed the residents,including Merchant and the Lakha family,for allegedly making structural changes in their flats.

The Lakhas lost four family members in the collapse.

The Furniturewalas claimed in their anticipatory bail plea that they were only legal heirs to the property owned by their grandfather. They said there were 25 such heirs.

Merchant and the Lakhas have claimed the brothers were involved in financial transactions with tenants and owners of the building.

All five accused in the case have been booked under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder),308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide),336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others),338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings).

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