Morbi bridge collapse: Guj HC takes suo motu cognizance, seeks report from govt

Ahmedabad:- The Gujarat High Court on Monday took suo motu cognizance of the Morbi bridge collapse and asked the state government to file a report within a week.

The high court bench comprising Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice A.J. Shastri initiated the suo motu Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The court instructed the government to file an action taken report on or before November 14, when the matter comes up for further hearing.

The first division bench observed, “…the incident in which hundreds of citizens have died untimely and their death was disheartening.” The court said, “Mr. Advocate General, as hundred persons have met untimely death, so we have taken suo motu cognizance of it. We want to know what action the state government has taken so far.”

The court also said that the Chief Secretary of Gujarat, Urban Development Department, the State Home Department, Morbi Municipality and the State Human Rights Commission be impleaded as parties in the case.

It has sought a separate report from the State Human Rights Commission.

The Chief Justice had directed the High Court Registrar General to initiate suo motu on October 31 itself after reading news reports about the tragic incident. Due to Diwali vacation, the court did not hear the case on the same day.

On October 30, a 141-year-old suspension bridge over the Machchu river collapsed in Gujarat’s Morbi town resulting in the death of over 135 people. So far, the police have arrested nine persons, including two managers of clock-making firm Oreva.