Firefighters douse the fire after it broke out at a mall that has a hospital and killed 11 people, at Bhandup in Mumbai
Firefighters douse the fire after it broke out at a mall that has a hospital and killed 11 people, at Bhandup in Mumbai

Mumbai, July 7: A sessions court on Monday granted bail to the CEO of Sunrise Hospital in Bhandup where 11 patients had died in a fire incident in March this year in a mall from which the hospital operated.

The court while granting bail to the 49-year-old CEO George Puthuserry, also granted bail to Haresh Joshi, 60, who was the authorized person for certifying the fire equipment of the hospital. Based on his false certificate, the fire authority had issued an NOC to the hospital, the police claim.

The hospital is situated on the third floor of HDIL Dreams mall. Additional Sessions Judge RM Sadrani said in his order that the fire took place on the first floor and that the applicants had no intention to cause the fire that caused the death of 11 persons admitted in the hospital. The court relied on a High Court order in the case of a doctor who had started a hospital and a blast in the AC had caused the death of 13 persons. In that case, the HC had said that by any stretch of imagination it cannot be said that they had any criminal intention to cause the blast.

Opposing the bail of the duo, the prosecution had told the court that the applicants had procured false certificates to start the hospital and that there was no provision for water in it, with the water being disconnected in 2014. It informed the court that to secure the occupation certificate, during inspection, Puthussery had filled up water in the mall’s tank by procuring it from outside. Due to their acts, 11 persons had lost their lives, it said further.

The duo had been booked by the Bhandup police for the offences of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and forgery under the IPC, among other offences. Puthussery’s advocate had argued that at the time of the fire, 78 patients were admitted in the hospital and 67 had been successfully evacuated. The deaths were due to lack of transport, he said. Further he argued that the fire took place in the first floor and it was the smoke that entered the hospital that caused the fatalities. He said that the hospital was well equipped with fire equipment. Joshi’s advocate had claimed that his certificate did not help in securing an occupation certificate.

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