'Are We Sitting Here To Prompt You?' Bombay High Court Slams Maharashtra Govt Over Rising Fire Cases In Mumbai

'Are We Sitting Here To Prompt You?' Bombay High Court Slams Maharashtra Govt Over Rising Fire Cases In Mumbai

A division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor said the increase in fire incidents in Mumbai was a "very very serious" issue and "no laxness can be accepted".

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, December 06, 2023, 02:34 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Maharashtra government for its lackadaisical attitude in implementing the fire safety rules and registrations, observing that fire incidents are on the rise in which people are losing lives. Terming it a “very very serious” issue, the court also said that “laxness” in such a situation cannot be accepted.

“Fire incidents appear to be on a rise. Every other day in this city there is a fire incident and there are reports of people losing their lives,” said a division bench of Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor.

Not The Job Of Court To Prompt Govt Everytime: Bombay HC

The bench remarked that it was not the job of the courts to keep the government promoting steps to be taken for implementing such safety rules.

The CJ asked: “This is not done. Are we sitting here to prompt you (the government) for every action? Is this our job? What is all this happening here?”

The court also referred to the recent fire incident which occurred in Girgaum in South Mumbai in a four-story building in which an 82-year-old woman and her 60-year-old son lost their lives.

“The manner in which these two deaths have occurred...is this what you (government) want for the people in this city...to lose their loved family members like this?” Asked CJ.

Committee Formed To Review Safety Rules

Additional government pleader Jyoti Chavan informed the court that an expert committee was formed last year to review the safety rules. And the said committee has submitted its report in February this year which has been placed before the state Urban Development Department for consideration. Following approval, steps would be taken to amend the Development Control and Promotion Control (DCPR) 2034, Chavan said.

“We are in December now. What is the government doing? Any laxness cannot be accepted,” CJ quipped.

Directing for a specific timeline, the court has asked the principal secretary of the UDD to inform by December 8 about the time it will take on the issue.

The HC was hearing a 2019 PIL filed by advocates Abha Singh and Aditya Pratap Singh seeking enforcement of the safety regulations in buildings vulnerable to man-made disasters.

The government formulated the draft special safety regulations after the 26/11 terror attacks that took place in the city in 2008. These regulations were notified in February 2009, and soon after, the government called for objections and suggestions from the public. After the public sent their suggestions and objections, nothing further was done.

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