Morbi Bridge Collapse: PIL in SC Seeks Judicial Probe Headed by Retired SC Judge, Hearing on Nov 14


Savvy Thakur

Published on: November 1, 2022 at 20:37 IST

On Monday, in the case of Vishal Tiwari vs. Union of India, a lawyer petitioned the Supreme Court for the establishment of a Judicial Commission to investigate the collapse of the Morbi Bridge in Gujarat.

The commission would be led by a retired Supreme Court judge.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari stated in the petition for Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that the accident that led to the collapse of the Morbi bridge, which resulted in the deaths of more than 137 people, represented the complete and utter failure of government authorities.

According to the plea, “from the past decade, various incidents have taken place in our country wherein there have been cases of huge public casualties which could have been avoided” due to mismanagement, lapses in duty, and negligent maintenance activities.

Tiwari brought the issue to the attention of Chief Justice of India (CJI) UU Lalit on Tuesday.

You move quickly. What are your requests?” the CJI inquired.

Tiwari replied, “I am seeking a judicial inquiry commission.”

Following that, the CJI ordered the matter to be listed on November 14.

On October 30, 2022, the Morbi Bridge collapsed in Gujarat. After being reopened just last week following repairs and maintenance carried out by a private operator known as the Oreva Group, the 141-year-old suspension bridge over the Machchuu River collapsed.

The petitioner emphasized that, in accordance with the First Information Report (FIR), the bridge was opened on October 26 after repairs and maintenance, despite the fact that it was aware that it posed a threat to life.

In addition, it was argued that the bridge had more than 500 people on it at the time of the collapse, exceeding the limit.

According to the plea, the private operator did not obtain a fitness certificate prior to reopening the bridge, and government authorities did not exercise administrative oversight.

The plea stated, “Such shows no concern for human life, and it is an absolutely terrible act of human rights violation that is the breach of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution.”

In addition, the plea emphasized the necessity of surveying and evaluating a number of other historic monuments and bridges in India to prevent similar accidents in the future.

As a result, the petitioner also requested that all states be given instructions on how to set up committees to assess the risk of all old and dangerous bridges, monuments, and other structures to guarantee environmental sustainability and safety.

Last but not least, the petitioner requested the establishment of a Construction Incident Investigation Department to expedite investigations in cases like this one.

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