Mumbai: Yug Tuli, co-owner of the restaurant Mojo’s Bistro, and one of the accused persons in the Kamala Mills fire case, denied before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday, all charges levelled by the police against him in the case. He said instead, the deaths in the fire that took place on the intervening night of December 28-29 last year, occurred due to the mistake of the staff at ‘One Above,’ the other restaurant at Kamala Mills that was gutted in the incident.
Tuli, has approached the Bombay HC seeking bail after the same was rejected by the sessions court last month. His counsel, senior advocate Shirish Gupte, told a bench presided by justice AS Gadkari that while as per the police’s inquiry, the fire that killed 14 people, did start at Mojo’s Bistro, none of the guests dining at his restaurant were among the deceased. “There were about 40 to 45 people at my restaurant at the time of the fire. All of them made it out alive. That is because, all those who died were guests at One Above, the staff at One Above made the mistake of pushing some guests into toilets, restrooms, where they died of suffocation,” Gupte said.
Gupte went on to say that the staff at Mojo’s were well trained and had even helped with the evacuation process. However, as per the inquiry report of the police as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, the fire began due to flying embers from hookah that was being served illegally at Mojo’s Bistro.
To this Gupte said that Tuli had merely signed the contract for running the hookah parlour with a third party, and that he had no role in the day to day operations of the hookah parlour.