The accused driver of the SUV booked in the Bandra Worli Sea Link mishap blamed the system and called himself a victim. He has applied for bail.
He said the mishap was a “simple human error” that happened due to security lapses by authorities who did not follow safety precautions and failed to barricade the site where cars had stopped on the expressway.
In the accident that took place around 3 am on October 5, five persons were killed and another nine injured. Irfan Bilakhiya was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 304(II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 304A (causing death by negligence) among other offences such as those of rash driving and overspeeding.
In his bail application filed through advocates Vikram Chavan and Chandni Bhatt before a Dadar magistrate court on Thursday, the businessman has said that he was wrongly implicated and is a victim in the incident, having himself sustained fatal injuries such as those to the brain and spine. He said the incident is a result of ‘contributory negligence’ on the part of persons who stopped their vehicles on a no-stopping zone and the sealink management who did not follow protocols. He pointed out that the other cars had committed traffic violations by stopping the vehicles on an expressway bridge.
The 40-year-old pointed out that post the mishap, government authorities have accepted their fault and planned changes to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). The entire incident is a result of ‘system failure’ he said, adding that he has merely committed an act of negligence. He called it a ‘simple case of human error” which cannot be termed as “culpable homicide”.
Referring to the accident with the Swift car, because of which other cars stopped on the sealink, the businessman said the authorities should have informed the ongoing cars about the accident, but neglected their duties, leading to the loss of lives.
The toll authorities; he pointed out, were aware of the first accident and had sent an ambulance and a towing vehicle. He said it was their responsibility to cordon off and stop the traffic at the toll counter itself to prevent further accidents.
In his plea he denied having fled from the spot and said that despite being injured, he helped the police load the deceased and injured into ambulances and also helped victims of the mishap.