» News » Oreva MD named in Morbi bridge collapse charge-sheet, warrant already out

Oreva MD named in Morbi bridge collapse charge-sheet, warrant already out

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: January 27, 2023 16:47 IST
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The police on Friday filed a chargesheet in the suspension bridge collapse incident that had occurred in Morbi town of Gujarat in October last year, in which 135 people were killed and scores injured.

IMAGE: A view of the cable bridge that collapsed in the Machchhu river resulting in over 135 casualties in Gujarat's Morbi. Photograph: PTI Photo

In addition to the nine arrested accused, Jaysukh Patel, managing director of Oreva Group that operated the bridge, has been named as the tenth accused in the chargesheet, said advocate Dilip Agechaniya, who is appearing for the victims.

A magistrate's court has already issued an arrest warrant against Patel.


Ajanta Manufacturing Limited (Oreva Group) was responsible for the operation and maintenance of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river that collapsed, days after its repairs, on October 30 last year when nearly 250 persons were on it.

The chargesheet, which runs into more than 1,200 pages, was filed in the court of Morbi's chief judicial magistrate MJ Khan by Deputy Superintendent of Police P S Zala, who is the investigating officer of the case.

”Oreva Group's Jaysukh Patel, who was not named in the FIR initially by police, has been shown as the tenth accused in the chargesheet filed before the magistrate on Friday. The chargesheet runs into over 1,200 pages and it contains statements of over 300 witnesses,” Agechaniya told reporters.

On October 31, a day after the bridge collapse, the Morbi police had arrested nine persons, including two managers of Oreva Group, two ticket booking clerks, two sub-contractors who repaired the bridge and three security guards deployed on the cable-stayed structure to guide and control the crowd.

Two weeks ago, the same court issued an arrest warrant against Oreva MD Patel in connection with the tragedy. His anticipatory bail plea will come up for hearing on February 1.

All 10 accused, including Patel, have been charged under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 336 (act which endangers human life), 337 (causing hurt to any person by doing any rash or negligent act) and under 338 (causing grievous hurt by doing rash or negligent act).

During a suo motu hearing on the incident in the Gujarat high court on Wednesday, the Oreva group offered to pay compensation to the victims. However, the court made it clear that the compensation would ”not absolve it of any liability”.

A special investigation team formed by the state government after the collapse had cited several lapses on the part of the firm.

The lapses included no restriction on the number of persons accessing the bridge and no curb on the sale of tickets, which led to unrestricted movement on the bridge, as well as carrying out repairs without consulting experts.

The probe had revealed that the new metal flooring done by the firm had increased the weight of the bridge, while the rusted cables on which the entire bridge was hanging were not changed by Oreva Group.

Moreover, both contractors hired by Patel's firm were not qualified to carry out such repair and renovation work.

The probe report also revealed that the Oreva Group did not hire any expert agency to assess the load-bearing capacity of the bridge before throwing it open to the public.

The group had sold 3,165 tickets on October 30 alone and there was no coordination between ticket booking offices on both sides of the bridge, the lower court was informed in the past by the prosecution.

It added that both booking clerks handling sales on each side should have stopped the sale of tickets after an extent but they continued to sell tickets and allowed more people to go on the bridge.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2023 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.