“Send the reply or pay fine,” warns Gujarat HC

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Ahmedabad: A day after the civic body’s authorities came under fire in connection with the Morbi bridge collapse, the Gujarat High Court on Wednesday asked the latter to submit a status report by evening or face a hefty fine .

“Stop taking this matter so casually. Either file your affidavit before this evening or pay ₹1 lakh as costs,” the court said.

This comes after no representative of the Morbi Municipal Corporation (MMC) appeared before it even though it had already issued a notice. On Tuesday, the court said the MMC is trying to “play smart” by skipping an important session.

On the other hand, the public advocate cited that the Deputy Collector in charge of the Morbi Municipal Corporation is on electoral duties and never received the notice.

He submitted that the notice was served on the civic body which should have been the case with the Deputy Collector. Hence the delay.

A suspension bridge in Gujarat’s Morbi town collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people. The bridge was a tourist spot and on the day of the incident it was crowded as it was a Sunday.

Gujarat High Court takes cognizance of Suo’s motto

The Gujarat High Court took cognizance of its motto in the matter on November 7, seeing no development in the matter. It has been 17 days since the incident that claimed more than hundreds of lives, but no strict action has been taken apart from questioning a few arrested people.

On November 14, the High Court sought direct answers from the state government and other departments involved. The court asked why a private contractor whose license expired in 2017 was tasked with refurbishing the Morbi Bridge.

Company invokes the hand of God behind the accident

Earlier, one of the accused officials of the Oreva company responsible for renovating the Morbi Brdige said the accident was an “act of God”.

“One of the two managers of the Oreva company (who have been arrested) told the court that this is an ‘act of God’,” Additional Public Prosecutor Advocate HS Panchal said.



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