THE BOMBAY High Court on Tuesday said that it will decide whether compensation should be paid to the families of the eight persons who had lost their lives in a blaze at Kurla’s Hotel City Kinara in 2015. It also said that it will take a call on whether BMC can be held liable for the incident.
A fire on the mezzanine floor of the hotel’s restaurant on October 16, 2015 had killed eight persons, seven of whom were undergraduate students of Don Bosco Institute of Technology. The fire had broken out while they were all having lunch at the restaurant, killing them within minutes.
A bench of Justice Akil Kureshi and Justice S J Kathawalla said, “We will consider whether compensation should be paid to the families of the victims and liability can be attached to BMC for negligence, which may have resulted into unfortunate incident.” The court posted the matter for September 17.
It was hearing a petition filed by the families of the victims against an order of the Lokayukta, which had dismissed their plea seeking a probe, observing that a compensation of Rs 1 lakh each has already been paid to them.
The petition stated that while the restaurant did not have a no objection certificate from the fire department, the BMC granted it a health licence and other approvals to operate the restaurant. Unauthorised construction was also carried out on the premises, it claimed.
The petitioners have claimed that the incident was a result of negligence on part of the restaurant owner and the BMC.
The counsel for the petitioners told the court that if the restaurant was operating without proper permission, it was the duty of BMC inspectors to shut it down.
In the previous hearing, the BMC advocate had told the court that files related to the NOC was missing and specified the licence department’s mechanism to grant permissions.