Oreva MD Oreva Group named as prime accused in Morbi bridge collapse case

"An arrest warrant Under CRPC-70 by a magistrate's court is out against Oreva Group MD Jaysukh Patel," read the Morbi Police official release.

Published: 27th January 2023 07:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th January 2023 07:40 PM   |  A+A-

Morbi bridge collapse

Search and rescue work on at the bridge collapse site in Morbi. (File photo | AP)

Express News Service

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat police on Friday filed a charge sheet that mentions the managing director of Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (AMPL) of Oreva Group, Jaysukh Patel as the absconding prime accused for the suspension bridge collapse in Morbi, Gujarat. The incident took place in October 2022, resulting in 135 fatalities. Patel is on the run as of now. 

The chargesheet, which runs into more than 1,200 pages, was filed in the court of Morbi's chief judicial magistrate MJ Khan by Deputy Superintendent of Police P S Zala, who is the investigating officer of the case.

Advocate appeared on behalf of the family of the deceased Dilip Agechaniya told the media "Oreva Group's Jaysukh Patel, who was not named in the FIR initially by police, has been shown as the tenth accused in the chargesheet filed before the magistrate on Friday."

"An arrest warrant Under CRPC-70 by a magistrate's court is out against Oreva Group MD Jaysukh Patel," read the Morbi Police official release.

Rajkot range Inspector General of Police Ashok Yadav told The New Indian Express, "The police have filed a chargesheet of about 1,262 pages. Based on the police investigation, Oreva managing director Jaysukh Patel is the prime accused in the case."

“Nine persons, including AMPL managers Deepak Parekh and Dinesh Dave, two ticket-booking clerks, three security guards posted at the bridge, and two private contractors who had carried out repair and maintenance of the bridge between March and October last year, have been arrested and they are named in the chargesheet,” said Ashok Yadav.

“The chargesheet has been filed against the 10 accused under IPC sections 304, 308,114, 336,337,338,” he said.

The police have recorded the statements of a total of 367 witnesses, including the family members of the deceased and injured people.

The charge sheet presented to the court included statements from doctors at civil and private hospitals who treated the injured, as well as the chief officer of Morbi Municipality.

The police recorded around four persons’ statements under CrPC section 164 before the magistrate who provided crucial information which helped the cops in collecting the evidence.

On Wednesday, during a case hearing, the Gujarat High Court's division bench criticized Morbi Municipality for not taking responsibility when Oreva Group wrote in a letter in December 2021 that the bridge had serious issues while pushing for higher ticket prices for the bridge.

In March 2022, the Oreva Group was granted a contract by the Morbi municipality to repair the Morbi bridge. However, due to alleged involvement in unsavory activities, Sandipsinh Zala, who was then the chief officer of said municipality, has subsequently been suspended by the state government for signing an MoU with Oreva.

The Special Investigation Team appointed by the government identified a number of issues with the bridge repair work. The municipality has also come under scrutiny for not controlling activity on the bridge and various design errors post-renovation had been detected.


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