Morbi Accident Due To Negligence But Not Culpable Homicide: Key Accused To Court - Vibes Of India

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Morbi Accident Due To Negligence But Not Culpable Homicide: Key Accused To Court

| Updated: December 13, 2023 12:03

Oreva Group MD and key accused in the Morbi bridge collapse case Jaysukh Patel submitted before the Gujarat High Court that while he can be accused of negligence, the charge of culpable homicide is a stretch as there was no intention on his part to cause the death of 135 persons. He was arguing for bail before the Gujarat HC.

A total of 10 people have been slapped with culpable homicide, among other charges.

Senior advocate Nirupam Nanavaty, on behalf of Jaysukh, also pointed out that six other co-accused — three security guards, two ticketing clerks and a manager at Oreva Group — have already been granted bail in the case.

The counsel said Jaysukh has already paid compensation to the victims and clarified that it is not charity but rather his duty to pay compensation as he cannot run away from the fact that “with or without my knowledge, there are 135 persons who lost their lives, seven children orphaned and 10 women widowed”.

Nanavaty submitted, “(I) do conceive that there can be negligence, which can be criminal negligence and it can be an offence, but there’s no mens rea (intention to justify the charge of culpable homicide)”.

Jaysukh also blamed the overcrowding on the bridge due to the then Diwali holidays as a “contributory negligence” that led to the bridge’s collapse.

“Suppose there was lacuna in repair, something more could’ve been done, some more precautions could have been taken but there was no intention or knowledge that such a huge crowd will go and the bridge will collapse,” Nanavaty submitted.

Denying allegations that the company and Jaysukh profited from the ticket sales that exceeded the permissible limit of persons on the bridge, Nanavaty submitted that even “the sale of 100 tickets worth Rs 15 is of no consequence” and that the company only took to maintaining it on the insistence of the district collectorate .

Opposing the bail plea, advocate Rahul Sharma, arguing on behalf of several victims under the Tragedy Victim Association of the Morbi bridge collapse, submitted that the act was not a case of simple negligence but rather “gross negligence”. It was also submitted that if released on bail, there is a possibility of tampering with evidence or threatening witnesses.

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