Kamala Mills Fire: Petition In Bombay HC Seeks CBI Probe, Arrest Of Owners Of Building Where Fire Broke Out Under S.304 IPC

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Gaurav Sud, an 18-year-old from Mumbai studying in the United Kingdom, has filed a request in the Bombay High Court seeking a CBI investigation into the Kamala Mills fire tragedy that took seat on December 29 in South Mumbai’s Lower Parel leading to the death of 14 people.

The petitioner has also sought the owners of the said building where the flame broke out to be booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC.

The disaster that took place at 12:30 am in Kamala Mills Compound on December 29 shook the city as 14 people passed away in the fire that reportedly started at ‘1 Above’ hookah bar and fan out to the adjacent restaurant ‘Mojo Bistro’.

Relying on newspaper reports, the petitioner said a man of burning coal ignited a curtain which in turn set ablaze a temporary roof made of bamboo poles bound together.

The petition stated that these 14 people died due to asphyxiation and not ascribable to the flames as there was no proper evacuation plan in the building to rescue of the trapped souls. Manifestly, the said fire broke out because of sheer neglect on the constituent of the operators and owners of the premises where the said pub and restaurant were operating.

Although, owners of both ‘Mojo Bistro’ and ‘1 Above’ have been picked up and booked under S.304, the petitioner sought owners of the said building to be added as accused under S. 304 as well.

“Not only operators of the said PUB and restaurant are responsible for the ardor and the deaths of 14 persons, but also the proprietors of the building and premises and the concerned officers of the Municipal Corporation, Fire Brigade and other concerned agencies, which had permitted the said PUB and Restaurant to carry out such businesses with impunity, without proper checks and safeguards,” the request said.

The petitioner has placed out from news accounts that there was only one entry-cum-exit to the pub which made the evacuation difficult and therefore went to so many casualties.

Even the fire extinguishers and hydrants at these two positions were not in working condition, the petition said.

The petition was filed on January 2 and will come up for hearing in due course once the court opens post vacations on January 4.

By- Manavi Joshi, Student Reporter, INBA

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