NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today asked the Bombay High Court to consider the bail application of Ramesh Gowani, the owner of the Kamala Mills complex in Mumbai where 14 persons were killed in a major fire in December last year.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan said the vacation judge of Bombay High Court may take up the bail application of accused Gowani on May 9 and decide in accordance with law.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Gowani, said he had filed the bail application on April 17 before the high court and the matter was taken up for hearing on April 25.
"On April 25, the presiding judge recused himself from the case and thereafter the bail application has not been listed and now the High Court is on summer vacation," Rohatgi said.
The bench said even if the high court is on vacation, the vacation judge can take up the matter and dispose of Gowani's petition.
Meanwhile, the apex court listed an appeal of Yug Tuli, the co-owner of the Mojo's Bistro restaurant and also an accused in the same fire incident, on May 8.
Tuli has challenged the High Court order of April 27, dismissing his bail application in the case.
Earlier, the apex court had refused interim bail to Tuli on May 1 in the case.
Tuli had claimed that the other accused in the case have been granted bail by the courts.
The high court had on April 27 rejected his bail plea saying it would pass a detailed order later.
Tuli, who was arrested in mid-January, had approached the high court after his bail plea was rejected by the sessions court on April 11.
The state government had opposed the bail plea and said there was gross negligence on the part of Tuli and all the other accused.
It had submitted that as per the inquiry reports of the police as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the fire was caused by the flying embers emanating from a hookah being served illegally at Mojo's Bistro.
Tuli had claimed he had no role in the day-to-day operations of the hookah parlour.
A total of 14 persons were arrested in the case and booked under various sections of the IPC, including those related to culpable homicide not amounting to murder and causing death by negligence.
The accused include the owners of the Kamala Mills compound, Mojo Bistro and 1 Above and two BMC officials.
On the fateful December night, a massive fire had swept through the two resto-pubs at the Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai, resulting in the death of 14 people.