The Gujarat High Court has taken a crucial decision on the collapse of the Morbi Suspension Bridge. Interim compensation to the relatives of those who lost their lives and injured Rs. 5 crores has been proposed to be paid. A suspension bridge operated by the company collapsed in Morbi town in October last year.
First Published Feb 22, 2023, 12:42 AM IST
The Gujarat High Court has taken a crucial decision on the collapse of the Morbi Suspension Bridge, which has become a topic of discussion across the country. The Gujarat High Court has ordered the watchmaker Oreva Group to pay an interim compensation of Rs five crore to the kin of those killed or injured. However, the High Court held that the compensation given by the company was not effective.
A bridge built over Machu river in Morbi city collapsed on October 30 last year. 135 people lost their lives in this accident. Another 56 people were injured. Ajanta Manufacturing Limited (Oreva Group) had promised interim compensation during a Public Interest Litigation hearing in the High Court after the accident last year.
Senior Advocate Nirupam Nanavathy argued for Orewa Group. The next of kin of the deceased will receive around Rs. 3.5 lakh and the injured will be given Rs 1 lakh each, the court was told. A bench comprising Chief Justice Justice Sonia Gokani and Justice Sandeep Bhatt is it fair? You have expressed your willingness to voluntarily pay damages. Do you think this is fair? The bench asked.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on Wednesday. Nanavathi sought suggestions from her client whether the company would pay more compensation in future as the payment was not described as ‘final’. The bench had earlier made it clear that the compensation offered by Orewa does not absolve it of any liability.
According to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the state government, Orewa Group Managing Director (MD) Jaisukh Patel has taken over the management of the bridge. Nanavati informed the court that the amount of temporary relief is five crore rupees. The Orewa group will deposit five crore rupees to the Gujarat government within two weeks, he said. Nanavati said the state can decide the amount to be paid to the next of kin of those injured or killed.
Apart from that, he told the court that the corporate body is fully responsible for the seven children who lost both their parents in the accident. These seven children will get all the necessary facilities like housing and education till they reach adulthood. A senior lawyer said that the company will also give them a job based on their merit.
Senior advocate Kamal Trivedi told the court that the state and the center have so far given compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the relatives of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh to the injured. The Morbi police arrested ten accused including Orewa Group MD Jayasukh Patel under sections 304, 308, 336, 337 of the IPC. .
Last Updated Feb 22, 2023, 12:42 AM IST