Morbi Bridge Case Gujarat High Court Slammed State Government And Civic Body | Morbi Bridge: ‘Don’t be smart, answer the questions…’, HC lambasted Morbi Municipality, asked the government
Gujarat HC On Morbi Bridge Case: The Gujarat High Court...
Gujarat HC On Morbi Bridge Case: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday (November 15) criticized the manner in which the contract for the maintenance of the bridge was awarded in the Morbi bridge accident case. The court said in its order that it appears that the state’s generosity was given without issuing any tender in this regard.
Chief Justice Arvind Kumar asked the Chief Secretary why tenders were not issued for the repair work of a public bridge. Why were no more bids invited? The court also reprimanded the Morbi Municipality. The court said that despite the notice, he has not come to the court, it seems that “he is becoming more intelligent, rather he should answer the questions.”
‘Municipal body has made a mistake’
The Morbi municipality had awarded a 15-year contract to the Oreva Group, which is known for its Ajanta brand of wall clocks. The court said, “The municipality, which is a government body, committed a lapse, which killed 135 people. Whether the Gujarat Municipalities Act, 1963 was followed.”
The court raised important questions
The court said during the hearing, “How was the agreement completed in just one and a half pages for such an important work? Was the state’s generosity given to the Ajanta Company without any tender?” The court itself had taken cognizance of the tragedy and sought answers from at least six departments. Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh J Shastri are hearing the case.
So far, only a few employees of the contracting company have been arrested, while the top management, which signed the 7 crore settlement, has not faced action. With this, so far no official has been held responsible for the renovation of the bridge before its reopening. The court also asked to submit the files of the contract in a sealed cover from day one.
What did the Gujarat government say?
The government has presented that it acted with “lightning speed” and saved many lives. A public prosecutor said, “Nine people have been arrested and if anyone else is found guilty, we will definitely book them.” At the same time, the court in its order directed the Principal District Judge of Morbi to issue a notice to the civic body to a bailiff.
The court said, “The list of events indicates that the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between the collector and the contractor on June 16, 2008. It was to operate, maintain, manage and collect rent in respect of the suspension bridge.” was. The said term expired on June 15, 2017. Thus the moot question would be: Under this MoU, on whom was the responsibility to certify the fitness. After the term expired in 2017, the Morbi civic body and the Collector What steps were taken to issue the tender.
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