The Sessions court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted interim bail to three accused in the case of the collapse of a building in Dongri that had killed 13 people last July, after considering their age and medical conditions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The accused, trustees of the charitable trust that owned the building, were arrested on March 12.
Sessions Judge R M Sadrani, presiding over a “lockdown court”, passed the order while hearing a plea by accused Safdarali Husain Ali Karmali, Shabbir Dost Mohammed Mukadam, Barkat Ali Hasan Ali Uniya, seeking interim bail.
Senior counsel Aabad Ponda, appearing for the accused, said that all three are between 62 to 74 years of age and have history of diabetes, hypertension and heart ailments and therefore cannot be lodged in jail in the current situation. Advocate Rashmi Tendulkar, appearing for Mumbai Police, sought that the plea be rejected as the applicants are active members of the trust.
After examining the submissions and the medical reports of the accused, the court noted that it appears that the offence was not exclusively punishable with death sentence or life imprisonment. “Looking at the age of the applicants and the nature of COVID-19, I’m inclined to grant temporary bail,” Judge Sardrani noted.
The court directed that three be released on interim bail by executing personal bonds of Rs 30,000 each with one or two sureties. They were also asked not to contact witnesses or leave their respective homes without the permission of the court. The matter was posted for further hearing on April 16.
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