Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted bail to Yug Tuli, the co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro in Kamala Mills which was gutted in fire in December 2017 claiming 14 lives.
The fire had spread to the adjacent 1Above and according to the BMC report, the fire had started at Mojo’s Bistro when flying embers from coal, blowing from illegal hookahs, came in contact with cloth used to cover the gazebos at rooftop bar.
Justice AS Gadkari granted bail to Tuli on parity since co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro, Yug Pathak, has been out on bail since 2018.
Tuli spent 11 months in custody before he was released on temporary bail by the Supreme Court in December 2018, pending his bail in the HC.
“Perusal of record indicates that, co-accused Yug Pathak is similarly situated as of Applicant (Tuli). The allegations against the said accused and Applicant are similar… Applicant is similarly situated with co-accused Yug Pathak and therefore deserves to be released on bail on the ground of parity,” noted the court while granting him bail.
The court also noted that Tuli has not breached any on his bail conditions since his release in 2018. “The Applicant is on interim bail since December 2018 and there is no report of breach of any of the conditions imposed upon him,” said justice Gadkari.
Earlier, Tuli’s bail was rejected by the high court on April 27, 2018.
He challenged this before the Supreme Court, which too dismissed his plea on May 29, 2018. However, the SC granted him liberty to approach the trial court for bail.
The trial court, on October 24, 2018, once again rejected Tuli’s bail.
Tuli challenged this order before the SC where he stated that his bail plea was pending before the high court. The plea was to be listed for hearing in January 2019.
Looking at peculiar facts, and the fact that Tuli had been in jail for 11 months, the SC granted him “interim bail till matter is taken up by the High Court”.
His bail plea finally came up for hearing on June 22 before justice Gadkari. The HC granted him bail on parity as all the accused in the present case have been released on bail either by the Trial Court or by the HC or by the SC.
The BMC report had said that the fire started at Mojo’s Bistro when flying embers from coal, blowing from illegal hookah, came in contact with cloth used to cover the gazebo at its rooftop bistro.
The inflammable object kept on the open terrace led to the fire spreading to the adjacent 1Above. Due to the blocked exit and alleged illegal structures, the patrons at 1Above were trapped and they died of suffocation, said the BMC report.