Bombay HC Grants Bail To 71-Year-Old Man In Connection With Fire At Candle Factory In Pune

Bombay HC Grants Bail To 71-Year-Old Man In Connection With Fire At Candle Factory In Pune

The HC observed that he is 71-year-old with health issued and the trial is likely to take a long time to commence.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, March 26, 2024, 10:56 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File

Mumbai: The Bombay Hihg Court has granted bail to Najir Amir Shikalgar, who was arrested in connection with the fire incident at a sparkle candle factory at Pimpri Chinchwad last December that killed 14 persons. The HC observed that he is 71-year-old with health issued and the trial is likely to take a long time to commence.

An FIR was filed by the Dehu Road police station at Pimpri-Chinchwad against Shikalgar for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material and explosive substance and causing hurt under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under provisions of the Explosives Act. The FIR was registered against Shikalgar, his wife, 61, and the owner of the factory. His wife was granted interim pre-arrest bail earlier.

On December 8 last year, a blast, resulting in a fire, took place in the sparkle candles manufacturing factory at Jyoti’s Nagar in Pimpri-Chinchwad killing 14 persons and seriously injuring several others.

Ali Kaashif Khan Deshmukh argued that Shikalgar is not the owner of the property. It is owned by his wife, who is the proprietor of M/s. Shikalgar Engineering and Fabricators. She had leased it to the proprietor of M/s. Shivraj Enterprises for 36 months. However, the leave and licence mentioned that the licensee was not to carry out any dangerous or illegal business in those premises.

He has been in custody since December 9 last year. He is 71-year-old and is suffering from health issues, benign prostatic hypertrophy and is under medical treatment, Deshmukh argued.

Opposing the bail plea, additional public prosecutor Madhvi Mhatre, said that the employees of the unit have given statements that Shikalgar used to visit that place as landlord of that property. Hence, he had knowledge that the explosive substances without sufficient safety measures were being used in those premises.

"Considering these facts, though the incident is very unfortunate in which 14 innocent people have lost their lives; the Applicant (Shikalgar) who is 71 years of age, need not be kept behind the bars pending the trial when the trial is likely to take a very long time to commence,” Justice Sarang Kotwal said on March 21.

While releasing him on bail on furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh, the HC added that he does not have any criminal antecedent and is not likely to abscond.

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