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Mahim building collapse: Sons of ex-owner seek anticipatory bail

Irfan Furniturewala, Sharif Furniturewala and Mohammed Furniturewala filed an anticipatory bail application in the sessions court today. The court reserved the hearing till tomorrow and granted the siblings protection from arrest, said advocate A R Sheikh defending the trio.

Apart from Furniturewalas, the FIR, registered on June 15, named Iqbal Ibrahim -the owner of the shop and the basement on the north side, Sandeep Bafna - the lessee of the shop and basement on the south side, officials of the G/North Ward and officials attached to the BMC head quarters in connection with the collapse.

The portion of Altaf Manzil had caved in on June 10, apparently due to incessant rains and illegal alterations. All the accused have been booked under sections 288 (negligent to conduct with respect to pulling down or repair building), 304 (culpable homicide), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety), 338 (grievous hurt), 34 (common intention) and 120b (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, police said.

In their bail application, Furniturewalas alleged the FIR was registered by prominent lawyer Rizwan Merchant, who lost his mother, wife and son in the mishap, under media pressure and with a malafide intention to grab their prime property.

"The police have deliberately added wrong sections in the FIR with an intention to detain them for long period", the bail application said. Furniturewalas contended they were not even remotely connected with the incident which is "purely an act of nature".

"The applicants (Furniturewalas) are not responsible for any offence as alleged against them or for loss of 10 persons who are unfortunate victims of the tragic incident," the bail application said. 

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