The Delhi Police has finalised its chargesheet against employees of Vivanta Ambassador hotel and managers of a firm involved in running the hotel’s sewage treatment plant, where three men died after inhaling toxic gases, sources said. The police sources said the chargesheet will be filed under the charges of punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, attempt to commit culpable homicide, and under the relevant sections of Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
Police have named five accused in the chargesheet likely to be filed in a week. Among the accused are two directors of Eco Pollutech Engineers, the company running the sewage plant. The duo were arrested in connection with the case.
Three others, named in the chargesheet, are employees of the hotel – its chief engineer, manager and director, the sources said. The hotel employees have been charged for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and attempt to commit culpable homicide.
The Eco Pollutech Engineers directors have been charged with all the sections listed above. The chargesheet, which runs into 20 pages, says the men, who had entered the sewage treatment plant of the hotel, located in an adjacent building, were not given the safety gear. It says reports from the Forensic Science Laboratory, Rohini, about the kind of gas and the water are awaited.
Police have written to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, seeking details of the inspection it had conducted at the sewage plant and whether the plant had due approvals, the reply of which is still awaited.
Five men were trapped inside the sewage plant and inhaled poisonous gases on April 29. Two men – Vikram Singh, a 26-year-old contractual security guard of the hotel, and Ravindra Kumar, 40, who worked as a contractual maintenance staff at the sewer plant run by Eco Pollutech Engineers, died on May 1.
Gaurav Sukheja, a 34-year-old deputy chief engineer of the hotel in Lutyens’ Delhi, who had inhaled toxic gases, died at a city hospital on May 4, taking the death toll in the incident to three. Two others, Nityanand, a 51-year-old member of the plumbing staff at the hotel, and Kamdev Patra, a 58-year-old contractual maintenance staff of Eco Pollutech Engineers, were injured.
Nityanand is still in hospital, the sources said. It has been more than four months but Nityanand is still unable to speak, said a police officer privy to the probe.
“Two pipes – one for food intake and the other for breathing were inserted. The pipes have been removed but he still has internal injuries and is still unable to talk,” he added.
A Vivanta Ambassador hotel spokesperson, “We have no information on the said query (chargesheet) from authorities. We continue to adhere to the highest standards of safety and compliance.”