AHMEDABAD: Chief Justice Arvind Kumar of the Gujarat High Court on Thursday held Chief Officer S.V. Zala of the Morbi Nagar Palika for the bridge collapse on October 30 that claimed 135 lives.
Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice A.J. Shastri's division bench made the observation that "the Morbi Nagar palika Chief Officer S.V.Zala is prima facie guilty of neglect of duty and even the affidavit produced by the nagar palika lacks details."
It also sought investigation on other bridges of a similar design in the state and a status update within 10 days, and it started a suo motu public interest lawsuit regarding the occurrence.
"We are not pleased with the compensation sum granted to the relatives of deceased, a family should get at least Rs 10 lakh compensation," the court stated during the hearing. The mention of castes next to the names of some of the deceased concerned the court. In response to a question from the court, the advocate general said that it helps to discover any other programmes or schemes under which the family is eligible to receive benefits.
The Chief Justice has also requested government records pertaining to the case, including information on the date the SIT report was delivered to the lower court.
"It is past time for all officials who are overseeing, supervising, managing, or administering such bridges across the state to check to see if the bridges within their purview are in good shape and, if not, to take corrective action." The case was postponed to a subsequent hearing on December 12.