MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today pulled up the Maharashtra government, the Thane police and the civic administration for a shoddy probe into the 2013 Mumbra building collapse.
Stating that the police probe report was an "eyewash", the division bench of Justices R M Savant and Sadhana Jadhav asked the authorities to "show some sensitivity towards the victims".
The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), seeking a speedy probe into the 2013 incident of the collapse of a seven-storey building in Thane.
Seventy-four people were killed and 62 others were injured in the incident. In 2014, another bench of the High Court had granted bail to four builders, who were accused in the case.
The court today observed that since last month, the Thane police had done nothing except recording statements of four men, who had supplied the material for the said building.
If this was the police's conduct in a case that was being heard in a court, it wondered, what do the police and the administrative authorities do in the matters that do not reach the judiciary.
The bench also asked, "Why is it that so many buildings keep collapsing in and around Mumbai? What do the authorities do?"
During the last hearing, the HC had directed the Commissioner of Police, Thane, to submit a probe report.
"For the last four years, you have done nothing and now after the PIL has been filed, and the court has issued directions, you are going to record statements of material suppliers.
"These suppliers will say that they haven't supplied any material so will that be the end of the matter? Given the fact that all the accused are out on bail and they can easily tamper with the evidence, they can influence all the witnesses, what are you going to do?" the bench asked.
"There is really no sensitivity on part of the probe team. This is certainly not the way to proceed with a case. We fail to understand why are you even proceeding with the trial," it said.
The court has now directed the Thane police to submit a detailed progress report within four weeks.