Last Updated: January 31, 2023, 15:41 IST
The collapse of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river in Morbi on October 30 claimed 135 lives including women and children. (File image: PTI)
A 1,262-page chargesheet was filed in the incident, that left 135 dead and several injured in October 2022, was filed last week. Oreva Group was responsible for the maintenance of the British-era bridge
Jaysukh Patel of Oreva Group, who was named as an accused in the Morbi bridge collapse, surrendered before the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate in Morbi on Tuesday.
A 1,262-page chargesheet was filed in the incident, that left 135 dead and several injured in October 2022, was filed last week. Oreva Group was responsible for the maintenance of the British-era bridge.
Patel has reportedly been missing since the incident in October and has been named as an ‘absconder’ in the chargesheet.
Morbi Chief Judicial Magistrate MJ Khan had earlier issued an “arrest warrant” against Patel after obtaining an application for the same from police under section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to the advocate representing the victims.
Patel had also moved Morbi sessions court on January 20 seeking anticipatory bail fearing arrest in the case. The hearing was adjourned till February 1 as the public prosecutor was not present.
Nine people, including four employees of the Oreva Group, have been arrested in the case so far. Two managers and two ticket booking clerks of the Gujarat firm were among those arrested.
Several lapses were cited by the special probe team including no restriction on the number of persons accessing the bridge, no curb on sale of tickets, leading to unrestricted movement on the bridge and carrying out repairs without consulting experts.
According to a probe last year, Clock maker Oreva Group that carried out “full and final” repairs on the suspension footbridge had reportedly spent only Rs 12 lakh, or six per cent, of the allotted Rs 2 crore.
The group had bagged a 15-year maintenance and operation contract to maintain and operate the bridge and was opened after renovations for six months. “The bridge is ready and safe to open on Gujarati New Year,” Patel had said on October 24, just days before the collapse.
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