High-Level Fact-Finding Panel To Probe Rajkot Fire: HC

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High-Level Fact-Finding Panel To Probe Rajkot Fire: HC

| Updated: June 14, 2024 09:43

The court stated municipal commissioners were guilty of grave negligence

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday criticised the state government and directed it to set up a high-level fact-finding committee to conduct an independent probe into the Rajkot game zone fire incident.

It wanted an investigation into the role of officials who allowed the illegal structure to come up and remain functional for years without a licence. 

A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Pranav Trivedi instructed the state government to set up the fact-finding committee under the Principal Secretary of the Urban Development and Housing Department, and submit a report by July 4. 

During the hearing of ‘suo motu’ petition, the court hit out at municipal commissioners, accusing them of massive negligence in the fire incident. The incident occurred last month leading to the death of 27 people. 

Top officials not to be spared 

The court questioned the state government’s tendency to blame contractors for such incidents. It expressed its anger that the only action that had been taken was the setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and removal of junior officers. The court said it would not spare the higher officers involved. 

Chief Justice Agarwal emphasised that top officials must not evade responsibility, drawing parallels to past incidents like the Morbi bridge collapse. The court made it clear that a thorough inquiry was imperative to identify every erring official and fix accountability accordingly.

The Bench also mandated fire safety inspections for schools across the state.

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