Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Bhinde's Non-Cooperation Leads To Extension Of Police Custody For One More Day

Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Bhinde's Non-Cooperation Leads To Extension Of Police Custody For One More Day

On Tuesday, the crime branch summoned Government Railway Police (GRP) ACP Shahaji Nikam for questioning in the same matter.

Aishwarya IyerUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2024, 12:23 AM IST
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Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse: Bhinde's Non-Cooperation Leads To Extension Of Police Custody For One More Day |

The magistrate court on Wednesday extended the police custody of Bhavesh Bhinde, the primary accused and owner of the hoarding that collapsed on May 13 in Ghatkopar claiming 17 lives, till May 30 - Thursday. According to Mumbai Police’s crime branch, the reason for seeking an extension of custody is Bhinde’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation.

Bhinde, 51, who was arrested by the Mumbai police’s crime branch on May 16, was remanded to police custody till May 26, which was extended till Wednesday, May 29. On Wednesday, while he was presented in court by the police, they asked for yet another day of custody to complete the interrogation with Bhinde.

The crime branch informed the court that they are yet to inquire how many other hoardings were installed by Bhinde’s company, Ego Media Private Limited, in the city. They added that the documents seized from Bhinde’s house - in Mulund - are yet to be inquired as the accused failed to cooperate with the investigation.

Furthermore, they want to know more about the collapsed hoarding. “We want to know about the designers who designed the hoarding, the fabricators, the ones who installed it, and the ones who issued the structural reliability certificate to Bhinde’s company,” said the crime branch in their remand copy that they submitted seeking his custody.

In the investigation, the crime branch found that Bhinde owned about 28 hoardings installed in the city and was earning crores of money monthly from the same. He allegedly owned about six companies under different names but were blacklisted and their accounts were deemed as non-performing assets (NPA) after which Bhinde started another company named  Ego Media Private Limited, the police informed the court on Wednesday.

After the hearing, the court remanded police custody for one more day.

On Tuesday, the crime branch summoned Government Railway Police (GRP) ACP Shahaji Nikam for questioning in the same matter. GRP had allegedly approved the collapsed hoarding in 2022 when the then police commissioner Quaiser Khalid was in charge. Police allege that Khalid approved the hoarding contract without a legal tendering procedure.

Bhinde was booked by the Pant Nagar police 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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