Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Bhavesh Bhinde's Police Custody Extended Till May 29

Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Bhavesh Bhinde's Police Custody Extended Till May 29

The Free Press Journal previously reported how the crime branch suspects that Bhinde held a ‘monopoly’ with the GRP when it comes to getting contracts for billboards on their owned land.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Sunday, May 26, 2024, 11:06 PM IST
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A Mumbai court on Sunday extended till May 29 the police custody of Bhavesh Bhinde, director of the advertising firm which had installed a hoarding that collapsed on May 13 in Ghatkopar area and claimed 17 lives.

Three days after the incident at the Eastern Express Highway, Bhinde was arrested from Udaipur on May 16 by the Mumbai Police’s Crime Branch who took over the case from the Pant Nagar police. After his arrest, he was presented in the court which remanded him in police custody till May 26.

On Sunday, the crime branch produced Bhinde before the metropolitan magistrate court at the end of his previous custody and sought an extension of his custody for investigation purposes. Police officials, during the hearing, said that they needed to inquire more about the other hoardings owned by Bhinde’s company Ego Media Private Limited. Police also said that they are still looking at the documents which they seized from Bhinde’s office and residence in Mulund to check how he got the tenders, related to hoardings, approved by authorities like the Government Railway Police (GRP), BMC, etc.

The Free Press Journal previously reported how the crime branch suspects that Bhinde held a ‘monopoly’ with the GRP when it comes to getting contracts for billboards on their owned land.

The petrol pump on which the hoarding collapsed on May 13, had three more billboards – all owned by Bhinde’s company. They all have papers of tenders, notices and contracts, which suggests they were erected legally. However, the one that collapsed wasn’t as per the permitted size of 40x40 feet, declared by the license department of the BMC. The hoarding went beyond and above 120x120 feet and yet it was approved by the GRP.

“More probe and interrogation is required in the matter, hence we sought extension of custody. We will be interrogating more people to ascertain who were on duty with the GRP back in 2022 when the hoarding’s contract was finalised,” said a senior police official, refusing to comment further.

Bhinde was booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt to any person by doing any act so rashly or negligently as to endanger human life) among others of the Indian Penal Code.

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