The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Gujarat High Court to hold periodical hearings in the suo motu case related to the Morbi bridge collapse, which claimed 140 lives and left several others injured.
Calling it an enormous disaster, the Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli, observed that the case required weekly monitoring to see the award of contract, the credentials of the party awarded the same, besides the attribution of responsibility for the guilty. It further stressed that several aspects of the matter required periodical references.
While taking into account the number of people who died, the Apex Court noted that the deceased included 47 children. It added that it would have issued notice in the case, had the High Court not taken suo motu charge of the same.
The orders were passed on two petitions filed in the Supreme Court, which sought a probe into the Morbi Bridge accident.
The pletitions sought investigation into the acts of criminal wrongdoing, the need to affix responsibility against officials of the nagar palika and the need to ensure that the agency entrusted to maintain the bridge was held accountable, including arresting the guilty.
The petitioners were gransted liberty by the Apex Court to intervene in the plea pending before the High Court. They were also permitted to file a fresh petition under Article 226.
The Supreme Court further said that the petitioners or any other aggrieved individual was free to approach the Apex Court for any relief.
The petitioners were represented by Senior Counsel Gopal Sankaranarayanan, while Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the government.