HC gives bail to corporator in Thane building crash case
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted bail to NCP Corporator Hira Patil, charged with accepting bribe from a builder to allow him to construct a seven-storey illegal building in Mumbra town in nearby Thane district that collapsed in April this year, claiming 74 lives.
Justice A R Joshi, on Thursday, granted bail to Patil on a bond of Rs 50,000 and surety of the same amount. He shall present himself at Thane Crime Branch office every Monday and Thursday until the trial is over.
The court said even if the prosecution`s case was accepted completely, there was no reason to deny bail.
Patil is charged with conspiring with Lucky Developers, the construction firm, and facilitating the construction of the unauthorised building. A register seized from the builder`s office has five entries showing that money was paid to Patil, said G P Mulekar, Additional Public Prosecutor.
The building was constructed in just seven months. It collapsed on April 4 this year. Even though the construction was not complete, people were already living in it.
Prosecution alleges that while Patil had earlier complained several times to the civic authorities, but at some point he suddenly stopped complaining, as he was paid bribe.
Entries in register showed that Patil had been paid over Rs 4 lakh, the public prosecutor said.
Patil`s lawyer, advocate Girish Kulkarni, denied that his client had taken bribe.
Prosecution also alleged that the accused made certain calls to co-accused and some officers of the Municipal Corporation in furtherance to the `conspiracy`.
But HC noted that accused was a corporator and and he was expected to be in touch with the officers of the civic body, so mere calls did not prove a conspiracy.
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