Plea seeks CBI probe into Morbi tragedy

It was also stated that the petitioner had no faith in the state carrying out the investigation in a fair manner as Assembly Elections are scheduled in the State of Gujarat.
CBI Headquarters. (File Photo | PTI)
CBI Headquarters. (File Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: Amidst the collapse of century-old Gujarat’s Morbi bridge over Machchuu River which claimed the lives of at least 135 people, another plea has been filed in SC seeking CBI or court-monitored probe into the incident that occurred on October 30, 2022. Aggrieved by the measly sum of Rs 2 lakhs compensation announced by the state, the plea also seeks for grant of a dignified sum of money as compensation to the next of kin of the deceased.

It was argued in the plea that a suo motu anonymous FIR has been registered in the matter despite the clear culpability of the Morbi Municipality officials and the Oreva Group, i.e., the Contractor-company.

“Despite the clear culpability of the Morbi Municipality, the FIR did not mention anything about the negligence of the state officials. Officials of the Morbi Municipality are clearly culpable for the tragedy for their gross negligence in permitting the Oreva Group (having no relevant experience) not only to maintain the bridge but also to reopen it to the public in breach of the time periods stipulated under the Contract,” the plea added.

It was also stated that the petitioner had no faith in the state carrying out the investigation in a fair manner as Assembly Elections are scheduled in the State of Gujarat in the first week of December 2022.

Interestingly, a bench headed by CJI UU Lalit on Tuesday had directed for listing a plea filed by Advocate Vishal Tiwari also seeking a court-monitored probe into the collapse for November 14. Tiwari’s plea had also sought for review of old bridges and monuments in India by directing states to take the responsibility for the risk assessment.

Tiwari in his plea has also stated that apart from the failure of maintaining and administering the supervision, the authorities have also failed in controlling the tourists who were there to visit the bridge, it had been reported that more than 500 people were on the bridge during the snap of wire which is absolutely over limit yet there was no supervision to control and regulate such crowd although knowing the limited capacity of the bridge.

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