Stephen Court building caretaker`s bail rejected

Last Updated: Monday, May 3, 2010 - 22:06

Kolkata: The bail prayer of the caretaker
of the historic Stephen Court building on Park Street, where
43 people died in a fire in March, was today rejected by the
Calcutta High Court.

With 17 bodies being found on the stairs to the
terrace, it was alleged that caretaker Tarun Bagaria had the
keys to the door but had not opened it.

The prosecution claimed that had Bagaria, who was
charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under
section 304 of IPC, opened the gate, at least 17 people in the
B Block of the building could have been saved.

Bagaria, who was arrested a day after the fire on
March 23, was in judicial remand after a week`s police
custody.

Bagaria`s counsel claimed the fire was an accident and
he could not be charged under section 304 of IPC.

Hearing both the parties, a division bench comprising
justices S P Talukdar and P K Dey rejected Bagaria`s bail
prayer.

The 80-year-old Stephen Court building houses
well-known restaurants like Flurys, Peter Cat, stores like
Music World, apart from offices and flats.

The fire, that broke out around noon, spread quickly
in the upper floors of the six-storeyed building, blocking
exits.

-PTI




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