Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court tore into the Morbi municipal body on Wednesday for its “casual” approach to a public interest litigation in connection with the iron bridge collapse in which more than 140 died on October 30. A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice AJ Shastri hauled up the civic body for not filing a reply, although the court was holding a special hearing in the case.
In its order, the bench said that the civic body should not take the issue casually and directed it to file a reply before 4:30pm on Wednesday itself or pay a fine of Rs 1,00,000.
Immediately after the bridge collapse, the high court initiated a suo motu proceedings. Although the court issued notices to the Morbi civic body on November 7 and sought a reply on November 14, the civic authorities did not comply with the directive.
On November 14, the court asked the civic body to file a reply on November 15, but they failed to do that again. On Wednesday morning, as the high court began to hear the case, counsel for the civic body said as the deputy collector was busy with elections, a reply could not be filed.
Nevertheless, when the lawyer sought time till November 24, the court turned down his request, demanding a reply by the evening.