Lawyer Sindha Shridharan, named as an accused in the FIR lodged in the Shankar Lok building collapse case in Vakola on March 14, on Tuesday sought to amend her petition to seek permanent alternative accommodation.
A division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and M S Sonak said the issue of permanent accommodation could not be adjudicated upon at this stage in the case. The court said the investigations in the case was under way.
Meanwhile, lawyer Nilesh Das tendered an affidavit to the court on behalf of Vaibhav Developers, who had entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to redevelop the seven-storey building. He stated that the dispute was between Shridharan and other respondents, including the BMC, and that there was no case against Vaibhav Developers.
Das had earlier offered to pay Rs 8,000 as rental expenses to Shridharan until her tenancy was decided, or a lump sum of Rs 10 lakh. Sridharan, however, said the amount was insufficient.
Shridharan’s lawyer said, “The collapse was an act of sabotage. The building was repeatedly ruined since 1998. The BMC and the builders are squarely responsible for it”.
Shridharan also claimed that a criminal complaint filed by her had been pending for 17 years. The court asked Shridharan
to complete the administrative procedures to get her criminal case and the newly filed chamber summons tagged along with the writ petitions pending before the court.
Additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik told the court that the police had so far recorded statements of some of the witnesses and they were awaiting the original building plan from the corporation.
The building, that was constructed in 1983, was auctioned in 1995 for default of property tax, the corporation told the court. Ashok Mastekar, the owner of the building, was an auction purchaser of the building.
The court will hear the case further on May 2.
Seven people, including Shridharan’s sister, were killed as the Shankar Lok building came crumbling down on the adjacent Catherine Chawl. Shridharan’s brother was among the four injured in the mishap.