Thane: The accused in the Thane building collapse case on Thursday argued before the local court that junior officers were being made scapegoats to shield the higher-ups.
As many as seventy-four persons were killed when a 7-storey under-construction building in Shil Phata area here collapsed last month. Police have arrested 22 persons, including some officers of Thane Municipal Corporation.
During the hearing on bail applications before special judge K R Warrier, advocate Sailesh Sadekar, representing suspended Deputy Municipal Commissioner Deepak Chavan, alleged that juniors were being framed up to save the Municipal Commissioner.
He referred to newspaper reports that locals had complained to the Commissioner two months before the incident about the construction, but no action was taken.
Advocate Anil Navle, for Ramesh Inamdar, municipal engineer, said senior police officials were equally responsible for allowing the unauthorised building to come up.
Navle also referred to allegations in a Marathi daily that local MLA Jitendra Awhad (NCP) threatened forest department officials when they conducted survey of illegal constructions in forest area near Mumbra. He said that civic officials were never given protection while acting against unauthorised constructions.
Advocate Vijay Sali, the lawyer of suspended Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC) Srikant Sarmokdam, argued that preventing the unauthorised constructions was not the responsibility of a DMC, and his client was not in charge of the area when the construction of the building started.
The hearing would continue next week.