Bombay High Court issues notice to BMC over doctor’s death during Mumbai rains, seeks reply in 2 weeks

Bombay High Court issues notice to BMC over doctor's death during Mumbai rains, seeks reply in 2 weeks. Photo: Twitter

Mumbai/Mahrashtra, September 1:  The Bombay High Court ordered the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the other respondents to give reply on the issues related to manholes in the city on Friday. Dr Deepak Amrapurkar, a well-known gastroenterologist from Bombay hospital who had fallen into an open manhole when heavy rainfall lashed Mumbai on Tuesday.

The Bombay High Court said that these issues could not be included in a Public Interest Litigation and the relatives of the doctor must file a separate plea or complaint before the correct forum. The High court further said that it could consider prayers drawing attention to safety concerns over potholes and manholes. The High Court directed the Maharashtra government and the  Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation to file affidavits responding to these issue.

Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N M Jamdar heard the Public Interest Litigation that was filed by Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association Mumbai. The Public Interest Litigation is probing that the officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) would be booked for causing death of a person due to negligence. The Public Interest Litigation also sought compensation of Rs 50 lakh for the family of the victim. T

The body of Dr Deepak Amarapukar was missing from Tuesday due to  heavy rains in the megapolis. Yesterday, the body was recovered from a nullah near the Coast Guard office in Worli. Dr. Deepak Amrapurkar was a gastroenterologist at the city-based Bombay Hospital.

Chief Justice Manjula Chellur said that “We are also very much pained that such an excellent doctor had to meet such a tragic end. But we cannot become emotional. In a public interest litigation there are certain limitations. Prayers seeking the authorities attention to issues of potholes and manholes could be heard by us in this Public Interest Litigation. But prayers seeking case to be registered under section 304 (II) of Indian Penal Code and compensation cannot be considered in a Public Interest litigation. The relatives of the doctor must file a separate plea or complaint before the correct forum.”

The High Court noted that in this case, the situation is not that the family of the victim is poor or not educated. the court has informed that the petition would be heard after 2 weeks. The petition wanted that the court should establish an advisory committee of ex-bureaucrats and technocrats so that an inspection could be carried out of all manholes in the city and a policy should be formed to avoid such fatal incidents in future.”

The Public Interest Litigation asserted that “It is apparent that only due to the gross negligence on the part of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and its officers, the victim lost his life. There were no sign boards, no barricading near the manhole cautioning the public at large about the prevailing danger.  It was the duty of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state to protect  areas where work is in progress after taking into consideration the locality, the density of the population, the frequency of the visitors. The plea contended that “The corporation and the state are under a legal obligation to take care of, and protect all citizens from accidents.”

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