Delhi building collapse: Owner in police custody; judicial probe ordered

A Delhi court remanded Amrit Singh, the owner of the collapsed building, in two days police custody.

Updated: Nov 17, 2010, 17:41 PM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi court on Wednesday remanded
Amrit Singh, the owner of the building which collapsed here
killing 67 people, in two days police custody.

The development came as the Delhi government ordered a judicial inquiry into the east Delhi building collapse.

"Custodial interrogation of the accused is necessary
for the recovery of the ownership documents of the alleged
building and hence, the application seeking two days of his
police custody is allowed," Metropolitan Magistrate Bhawani
Sharma said.

Seeking to quiz the building owner in custody, the
public prosecutor said that till now 67 persons have died in
the mishap and the recovery of the documents was necessary to
ascertain various facts related to the 25-year-old house.

The accused, who was arrested yesterday from Geeta
Colony here, has been booked under Section 304 (culpable
homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC, which prescribes
life imprisonment as the maximum sentence.

The judicial inquiry ordered today would be conducted by former Delhi High Court judge Justice Lokeshwar Prashad, top officials said.

They said the committee will look into all aspects of the
incident, including any possible failure of institutional

The terms of reference of the inquiry include making
recommendations regarding the preventive and penal measures
required to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

The decision to appoint the judicial inquiry was taken
by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

Government has asked Justice Prashad to file his report
within three months.

At least 67 persons died and 82 people were injured when the
building at Lalita Park in Laxmi Nagar came crashing down
around on November 15.

Over 60 families, mostly labourers from West Bengal and Bihar,
were living in the cramped quarters of the 15-year-old
building, where an illegal fifth floor was under construction.