MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court rejected today the bail pleas of a Shiv Sena worker and a contractor arrested in connection with a building collapse incident here in which 17 people were killed in July last year.
Shiv Sena member Sunil Shitap and an interior work contractor, Ranjit Agale, had approached the high court for bail after a sessions court rejected their applications in October last year.
Justice Ajey Gadkari, while rejecting the pleas, said the "complicity" of Shitap and Agale was noticed in the case and they do not deserve to be released on bail.
A ground-plus-three storey building, called 'Sai Siddhi', in suburban Ghatkopar had collapsed on July 25 last year, killing 17 people and injuring 22 others.
Police had in August arrested Shitap, who owns the ground floor of the building, and Agale, under whose supervision Shitap was allegedly carrying out an unauthorised work on the premises.
According to police, Shitap was converting the ground floor premises into a nursing home.
Eight family members of victims of the tragedy and two flat owners had also moved the high court as interveners and opposed the bail pleas.
Lawyers Sujoy Kantawalla and Ashish Mehta had argued on behalf of the victims' family members that Shitap had carried out unauthorised work at his property which weakened the building, resulting in its collapse.
The building had 15 flats, including three commercial premises, on the ground floor which Shitap owned.
In his bail plea, Shitap claimed that the building was over three-decade old and in dire need of repairs.
Hence, he cannot be held responsible for its collapse.
Shitap and Agale have been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 304(II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).