Building collapse: Court asks police to find out if municipal chief erred

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Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) K P Jain-Desarda has directed Sahakarnagar police to investigate the Taljai building collapse in September that killed 11 persons and submit a report on whether action can be initiated against the PMC commissioner.

The court directions came on a complaint filed by Bhartiya Dalit Cobra (BDC) Pune city coordinator Babasaheb Jadhav seeking an FIR against Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) commissioner Mahesh Pathak.

Jadhav, in his complaint filed through advocates Bhai Vivek Chavan and Vanita Chavan last month, had sought a court direction to the police to register an FIR against the municipal commissioner under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304 A (causing death by negligence) and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture) of the Indian Penal Code.

On September 24, a four-storey under-constructing building in Taljai area collapsed killing 11 persons and injuring 11. After the mishap, PMC's junior engineer and building inspector Vasudev Kurbet (44) lodged a complaint with Sahakar Nagar police. The police had arrested former Congress corporator Sanjay Nande (43) and land owner Lahu alias Dhirendra Bapu Sawant in the case.

The PMC building engineer had stated they served a notice on Nande for illegal construction on September 1.

Jadhav's complaint seeking action against the PMC commissioner contends that if the notice was not replied to within 24 hours, the PMC ought to have taken action but they didn't. "PMC's negligence cost 11 lives," the petition alleged.

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