Kamala Mills Fire: Fmr Mumbai CP Julio Rebeiro Files PIL In Bombay HC Seeking Ward-Wise Fire Safety Audit Of All Eateries/Pubs, Suggests Inquiry By Judicial Commission [Read Petition]
Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Rebeiro has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court on the Kamala Mills fire incident that killed 14 people in Mumbai.
Rebeiro, a decorated civil servant, has sought directions to the Chief Fire Officer to conduct a ward-wise fire safety audit of every eatery/restaurant/pub that has been issued an eating license in the city to serve food/beverage/alcohol etc.
In the alternative, Rebeiro has suggested the high court to order a judicial commission to be set up in order to fix responsibility of public officers and private persons involved in the fire tragedy.
As reported earlier, a PIL has been filed seeking a CBI probe into the incident and also for the owners of the said building to be arrested under Section 304 of IPC.
The PIL repeatedly points at negligence and omissions on the Municipal Corporation’s part. Referring to an article about the Municipal Corporation’s “crackdown” on violators of fire safety norms, etc, after the fire at Kamala Mills occurred, the PIL states:
It is stated that it is glaringly clear after going through the said report/article that the Respondent No. 3 appears to have had prior knowledge of the illegalities and flouting of fire safety norms in these places as such a huge “crackdown” on the said illegal structures was done within a day or so of the incident. Vicariously also the Respondent No. 3 is deemed to have the knowledge. It also appears to be clear that the Respondent No 3 even after having prior knowledge had taken no action whatsoever until the occurrence of the said incident, which took, lives of 14 people.
Another Article dated 31st December, 2017 states that three Notices were issued to “Mojos Bistro” and “1Above” the two eateries where the tragic said incident took place, for illegal alterations. However Respondent No. 3 took no action on the same.
It is mentioned in the PIL that one Mangesh Kasalkar had written a letter dated October 7, 2017, to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai addressing the issue of illegal constructions at Kamala Mills, but in its reply, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) denied existence any illegal construction whether ongoing or complete.
Also, the petitioner has sought the Municipal Commissioner to be called upon to name the powerful persons who prevented him from taking action against certain erring municipal officials. This is in reference to the Municipal Commissioner’s quote regarding the same in a newspaper article.
Advocate Sujay Kantawala is appearing on behalf of the petitioner. The matter will come up for hearing on January 15 before the bench of Justice RM Borde and Justice RG Ketkar.
Read the Petition Here