Report Wire - Morbi bridge tragedy: High Court agrees to Oreva Group’s supply to pay compensation to victims

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Morbi bridge tragedy: High Court agrees to Oreva Group’s supply to pay compensation to victims

6 min read
Morbi bridge collapse: Four accused sent to police custody

By PTI

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court agreed to the Oreva Group’s supply on Wednesday to pay compensation to the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse that left 135 useless and a number of other injured however stated it is going to ‘not absolve it of any legal responsibility’.

Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Limited) was liable for the operation and upkeep of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river that collapsed on October 30 final yr, with a particular investigation crew shaped by the state authorities citing a number of lapses on the a part of the agency.

The firm’s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati informed the division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri, which is listening to a suo motu plea on the tragedy, that it maintained the cable-stayed construction as a part of its ‘philanthropic actions’ and never a ‘business enterprise’.

The firm, which was impleaded as a respondent within the case, provided to pay compensation to the households of the 135 deceased, 56 injured individuals and 7 orphaned youngsters, to which the court docket directed it to file an affidavit and noticed that such an act “would not absolve it of any liability, either directly or vicariously”.

ALSO READ | Rusty cables, unfastened bolts inform shoddy story of Morbi bridge renovation, different lapses: Probe

The firm “fairly admits that payment of such compensation should in no way prejudice the rights of any other parties,” the court docket stated.

“We make it clear that the payment of compensation even by the 7th respondent (Oreva) to the victims or relatives should not absolve it of any liability either directly or vicariously,” it stated.

“It is also made clear that the proceedings initiated against the (Oreva) by other authorities namely the instrumentality of state, be it revenue or police authorities, shall be taken to its logical end without any reference to the payment of this compensation,” the court docket additional stated.

It directed Oreva to deposit the quantity with the state to allow them to take additional steps within the matter.

“It was an old bridge, a heritage bridge. Some other entities- very, very highly posted, I do not want to name them, persuaded me to take over and maintain,” Nanavati stated in his submission on behalf of his shopper.

An arrest warrant has been issued in opposition to Managing Director of Oreva Jaysukh Patel, whereas he has filed for anticipatory bail plea in Morbi court docket.

The High Court on Wednesday additionally pulled up the Morbi municipality and stated it has did not disclose in its affidavit “as to how the seventh respondent (Oreva Group) was permitted to use the bridge from December 29, 2021 till it was closed on March 7, 2022”.

ALSO READ | Morbi bridge collapse: Only ground modified, not its cables

It stated rival contentions confirmed that Oreva was “using the bridge despite there being no approval for its utilisation”.

“It would also emerge from the said affidavit that the agreement dated Mar 8, 2022, was not formally approved by the general body of the municipality,” it stated.

In an oral comment, it stated an inference could possibly be drawn that there was collusion between the civic physique and Oreva.

In its affidavit on the situation of bridges, the state authorities stated there are 23 bridges that require main repairs and 40 minor repairs. Work on 27 of those bridges is accomplished, it stated.

The authorities additionally stated there was a necessity for the formulation of a uniform coverage with regard to the upkeep of bridges to be adopted by the developmental authorities and such a coverage is below lively consideration.

The court docket directed the federal government to position on file any coverage choice so taken on this regard.

It additionally directed the state authorities to hold out work on ‘warfare footing’ on the 23 bridges that require main repairs.

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court agreed to the Oreva Group’s supply on Wednesday to pay compensation to the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse that left 135 useless and a number of other injured however stated it is going to ‘not absolve it of any legal responsibility’.

Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Limited) was liable for the operation and upkeep of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river that collapsed on October 30 final yr, with a particular investigation crew shaped by the state authorities citing a number of lapses on the a part of the agency.

The firm’s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati informed the division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri, which is listening to a suo motu plea on the tragedy, that it maintained the cable-stayed construction as a part of its ‘philanthropic actions’ and never a ‘business enterprise’.

The firm, which was impleaded as a respondent within the case, provided to pay compensation to the households of the 135 deceased, 56 injured individuals and 7 orphaned youngsters, to which the court docket directed it to file an affidavit and noticed that such an act “would not absolve it of any liability, either directly or vicariously”.

ALSO READ | Rusty cables, unfastened bolts inform shoddy story of Morbi bridge renovation, different lapses: Probe

The firm “fairly admits that payment of such compensation should in no way prejudice the rights of any other parties,” the court docket stated.

“We make it clear that the payment of compensation even by the 7th respondent (Oreva) to the victims or relatives should not absolve it of any liability either directly or vicariously,” it stated.

“It is also made clear that the proceedings initiated against the (Oreva) by other authorities namely the instrumentality of state, be it revenue or police authorities, shall be taken to its logical end without any reference to the payment of this compensation,” the court docket additional stated.

It directed Oreva to deposit the quantity with the state to allow them to take additional steps within the matter.

“It was an old bridge, a heritage bridge. Some other entities- very, very highly posted, I do not want to name them, persuaded me to take over and maintain,” Nanavati stated in his submission on behalf of his shopper.

An arrest warrant has been issued in opposition to Managing Director of Oreva Jaysukh Patel, whereas he has filed for anticipatory bail plea in Morbi court docket.

The High Court on Wednesday additionally pulled up the Morbi municipality and stated it has did not disclose in its affidavit “as to how the seventh respondent (Oreva Group) was permitted to use the bridge from December 29, 2021 till it was closed on March 7, 2022”.

ALSO READ | Morbi bridge collapse: Only ground modified, not its cables

It stated rival contentions confirmed that Oreva was “using the bridge despite there being no approval for its utilisation”.

“It would also emerge from the said affidavit that the agreement dated Mar 8, 2022, was not formally approved by the general body of the municipality,” it stated.

In an oral comment, it stated an inference could possibly be drawn that there was collusion between the civic physique and Oreva.

In its affidavit on the situation of bridges, the state authorities stated there are 23 bridges that require main repairs and 40 minor repairs. Work on 27 of those bridges is accomplished, it stated.

The authorities additionally stated there was a necessity for the formulation of a uniform coverage with regard to the upkeep of bridges to be adopted by the developmental authorities and such a coverage is below lively consideration.

The court docket directed the federal government to position on file any coverage choice so taken on this regard.

It additionally directed the state authorities to hold out work on ‘warfare footing’ on the 23 bridges that require main repairs.