Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday
granted interim bail to two directors of Stephen Court,
accused in the devastating fire that ravaged the 150-year-old
building claiming 43 lives in March this year.
A vacation bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee
and Justice M K Chowdhury granted the bail prayer of Sushil
Kumar Surekha and Pradip More till the court reopens on
The bench directed Surekha and More to meet the
investigating officer in the case everyday and to deposit
their passport as condition.
Surekha and More had surrendered before local courts
on September 17 and October one respectively, while accused
Sanjay Bagaria, another director of Stephen Court Ltd, was
Bagaria, after five months on the run, was arrested
from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh on August 24.
All the three directors of the company have been charged
with culpable homicide in connection with the death of 43
people when a devastating blaze swept through the top three
floors of the multi-storeyed building housing residences,
offices and restaurants on upscale Park Street on March 23.
It was alleged that a callous response from the
accused, including the three directors of the company, led to
the people being trapped inside the building on fire that
started during office hours.
It was also claimed that fire safety rules had been
violated at the building by the company, which is responsible
for its upkeep, despite being a rich firm with cash reserves
of Rs 1.54 crore.
The police had filed a chargesheet against six persons
including the three directors.
The other three -- Tarun Bagaria (caretaker), Ram
Shankar Singh (pump operator) and Joy Prakash Singh (lift man)
-- were arrested on March 23.