'Mahim building collapse probe transferred to Crime Branch'
Maharashtra Government today informed the Bombay High Court that the probe into partial collapse of Altaf Manzil building on June 10 in suburban Mahim has been handed over to the Mumbai Crime Branch.
Eleven persons were killed when a part of the four-storeyed building caved in allegedly due to illegal alterations and rains.
Additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia informed Justice R P Sondur-Baldota that the probe has been transferred from the Mahim police station to the crime branch on August 2.
Meanwhile, the court today rejected anticipatory bail application of Digambar Satam, a sub-engineer with the BMC, observing that there was prima facie evidence against him. Satam and co-accused Praveen Rane, a BMC officer, had visited the building in November 2008 after a complaint by one of the residents and advocate Rizwan Merchant pointing out illegal alterations being made in the ground floor.
The duo had submitted a report stating that no unauthorised work was found to have been carried out.
Merchant's wife, mother and son were killed in the collapse. The high court has kept applications filed by the state government and Merchant seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to the landlord of Altaf Manzil, Irfan Furniturewala for hearing tomorrow.
The FIR, registered on June 15, had named three sons of the landlord, besides Iqbal Ibrahim -the owner of the shop in the basement on the north side, Sandeep Bafna - the lessee of the shop in the basement on the south side, officials of the G/North Ward and officials attached to the BMC head quarters.
They were 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.