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Mum building collapse: Sons of ex-owner get interim relief

June 19, 2013 18:14 IST

A sessions court on Wednesday granted interim protection from arrest till July 16 to three sons of a former owner of Altaf Manzil building, which collapsed last week killing 10 people.

Sharif Furniturewala, his brothers Mohammed and Irfan on Tuesday approached the court seeking anticipatory bail after they were booked under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code among other charges in a Ffirst Information Report filed against them and others in connection with the collapse.

A portion of Altaf Manzil had caved in on June 10. It was alleged that illegal alterations were responsible for the collapse in Mahim.

The bail application of Furniturewala brothers will now come up for hearing on July 16.

While granting interim protection, the court observed that the main allegation is against Sandeep Bafna, the lessee of the shop and basement on the south side in the building, where illegal alterations were allegedly carried out, and there is no nexus between Bafna and Furniturewalas.

Apart from Furniturewalas, the FIR, registered on June 15, named Iqbal Ibrahim -the owner of the shop and the basement on the north side, Bafna and officials of the G/North
Ward and officials attached to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation head quarters in connection with the collapse.

All the accused were booked under Sections 288 (negligent to conduct with respect to pulling down or repair building), 304 (culpable homicide), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety), 338 (grievous hurt), 34 (common intention) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, police had said.

In their bail application filed through their counsel A R Sheikh, the Furniturewalas had said that lawyer and one of the residents of the four-storey building Rizwan Merchant had filed the FIR with "a malafide intention to grab the prime property."

Merchant lost his mother, wife and son in the collapse.

"The police have deliberately added wrong sections in the FIR with an intention to detain them for long period," Furniturewala's bail application reads. The three brothers also contended they were not responsible for regular maintenance of the building and it caved in due to "unfortunate act of mother nature".

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