Chief Justice Aravind Kumar led-Gujarat High Court division bench on Monday issued notices to the state government and the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), seeking their response to the list of actions taken by the authorities so far in connection with the October 30 Morbi bridge suspension collapse that claimed 135 lives. After the court reopened following the Diwali vacation, the bench asked for a status report by November 14.
After taking cognisance of a Times of India article, dated October 31, the bench filed a suo motu public interest litigation, communicating the same to the registrar on that date. “…On account of the courts having been closed due to Diwali vacations, telephonic instruction was issued to the registrar (judicial) to treat the said article as suo motu PIL by registering it accordingly, after necessary formalities,” the Chief Justice said in his order, as reported by The Indian Express.
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According to the HC order, the bench impleaded the following six parties – the chief secretary to the Gujarat government, the Home department of the Gujarat government via the Home secretary, the Urban Development department via the Commissioner of municipalities, the Morbi municipality, the Morbi District Collector and the SHRC.
The court directed the chief secretary to the Gujarat government and the Home secretary to submit a “status report” in connection with the Morbi incident within a week while the bench instructed the state human rights body to “file a report in this regard by next date of hearing.”
The court began proceedings after observing two minutes of silence for the victims in the Morbi tragedy.