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Morbi Bridge Collapse: PIL filed to constitute judicial commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the mishap

The Supreme Court has been approached by a lawyer seeking to constitute a judicial commission headed by a retired Supreme Court judge for investigating the major mishap which took place in Gujarat Morbi Bridge collapse.

A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed by advocate Vishal Tiwari who stated that the accident leading to the collapse of Morbi bridge which resulted in 137 casualties, depicts the sheer negligence and utter failure on the part of the government authorities.

The plea states that this is not a sole incident and in past decade several such incidents have taken place in our country wherein due to the mismanagement, lapse in duty, negligent maintenance activities, there has been cases of huge public casualties which could have been avoided.

The matter was mentioned before Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit today by Tiwari.

“CJI said to the lawyer that you are very quick. What are your prayers?

Tiwary responded that he was seeking for a judicial enquiry commission.

The CJI has now directed the matter be listed on November 14.

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The 141-year-old suspension bridge over the Machchuu River collapsed after it was reopened just last week following repairs and maintenance by private operator, Oreva Group.

The petitioner has said that as per the First Information Report (FIR), the bridge was opened on October 26 after repair and maintenance even after it was known that it posed threat.

It also submitted that at the time of collapse, the bridge had about 500 people which was not allowed.

It is also mentioned in the Plea that no fitness certificate was taken by the private operator before reopening the bridge and there was no administrative supervision by government authorities.

The plea says that this shows no concern for human life and it is an utter dreadful act of violation of human rights that is the breach of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The plea highlights the need for various other old bridges and monuments in India which should be surveyed and assessed in order to avoid such eventualities.

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The petitioner has also requested that directions should be issued to all States to form committees to conduct risk assessment of all old and risky monuments

Finally, the petitioner also sought formation of a Construction Incident Investigation Department for conducting prompt investigation in cases such as this one.

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