RAIPUR: A local court in Chhattisgarh's Korba town late Monday rejected the bail applications of three Chinese engineers, who were arrested for the chimney collapse last year at Bharat Aluminum Company Limited (BALCO) power plant, in which 40 people were killed.
District and sessions judge M.D. Katulkar heard the arguments at Korba town, some 240 km from capital Raipur, and passed an order around 8 p.m., rejecting their bail plea.
Chinese engineers employed with Shandong Electric Power Construction Corp (SEPCO) included the project in-charge Wu Chunan and two other civil engineers. Arrested Jan 11 at Korba, they were presented before a local court that sent them to judicial custody.
"Court rejected the bail application of Chinese engineers, saying their cases are not different from the other four persons, three of Balco and one from Gannon Dunkerley and Company Limited (GDCL), whose bail applications were rejected earlier by the Chhattisgarh High Court," Brajesh Kumar Shukla, counsel for the Chinese engineers, told IANS by phone.
He said he will move the high court for bail within a day or two. The Chinese engineers have been arrested on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Government officials say Vedanta Resources Plc-controlled Balco, in which the Indian government holds a 49 percent stake, had awarded Chinese firm SEPCO the task of constructing two thermal power plants of 600 MW each at Korba.
Later, SEPCO outsourced the construction of a 257-metre chimney to GDCL.
The chimney crumbled Sep 23 when it had achieved the height of 225 metres.
Seven persons have been arrested in the chimney collapse case till date. Besides three Chinese engineers, police have arrested three BALCO officials (Nov 17), including its vice president Viral Mehta, and GDCL project manager Manoj Sharma (Oct 7).