‘Don’t show cleverness, why tender was not issued after the contract expired’, HC reprimands Gujarat government on Morbi accident

The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday heard the suo motu public interest litigation on the Morbi bridge accident. During this, the court strongly reprimanded the state government and Morbi Municipal Corporation for the shortcomings found in issuing the tender. The court said that there is no need to show cleverness to the Morbi Municipality.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Arvind Kumar asked, “Even after the term of the contractor expired on June 15, 2016, why was a new tender not floated?” How much generosity was shown by the state towards a person without tender? The court said that the state should explain the reasons why legal action was not initiated against the chief officer of the civic body.

Questions about jobs to the families of the deceased

The bench also sought to know from the state government whether a job can be given as a support to the family member of those people who were the sole bread earners in their family but died in the accident. At the same time, the counsel for the State Human Rights Commission told the court that it is being verified whether compensation has been given to the concerned families or not.

Next hearing will be on 24 November

Now the next hearing on this matter in the High Court will be on 24 November. The bench asked on what basis the contractor was allowed to operate the bridge for three years after the first agreement expired? The court said these questions should be answered in an affidavit during the next hearing, which will be held after two weeks.

Notice sent to the State Government-Human Rights Commission on November 7

The matter could not be taken up for hearing on Monday due to the unavailability of a bench headed by Chief Justice Arvind Kumar. A bench of Justice Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri issued notice to the state government and the State Human Rights Commission on November 7, seeking a status report from the government on the incident that took place on October 30.

135 including women and children died in the accident

On October 30, 135 people, including women and children, died in the collapse of a British-era suspension bridge over the Machchu river in Morbi. The High Court on November 7 said that it has taken suo motu cognizance of a news report on the bridge collapse incident and registered it as a PIL. It may be noted that on October 31, the police arrested 9 people, including 4 people of Oreva Group, which manages the Morbi bridge, and registered a case against the companies involved in the maintenance and operation of the bridge.

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