Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Monday reduced the period of interim relief granted by a sessions court to three sons of the former owner of Aftab Manzil building in Mahim here, which collapsed two weeks ago killing ten persons.
Justice KU Chandiwal directed the sessions court to hear their anticipatory bail applications on July 1, instead of July 17.
Sharif Furniturewala and his brothers Mohammed and Irfan had approached the sessions court seeking anticipatory bail after a case of culpable homicide was registered against them.
The sessions court fixed the hearing on July 17 and asked the police not to arrest them in the meantime.
Advocate Rizwan Merchant, who lost his wife, son and mother in the collapse, approached the High Court challenging the interim protection. "Interim relief of four weeks at the initial stage of investigation is not proper," Merchant said, adding that possibility of the accused absconding cannot be ruled out.
Justice Chandiwal, while refusing to interfere with the sessions court order, directed that hearing on the anticipatory bail be advanced to July 1.
A portion of the five-storey building collapsed on June 10. Illegal alterations on the ground floor are said to have caused the crash.
Apart from the Furniturewalas, the FIR also names Iqbal Ibrahim - owner of the shop on the ground floor -- and municipal corporation officials.
The accused have been booked under sections 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repair of building), 304 (culpable homicide), 336 (act endangering life or safety), 338 (grievous hurt), etc of the Indian Penal Code.