Seventeen years after three people lost their lives in a cylinder blast in a workshop in their building that caused a fire in the entire building and also damaged nearby structures, a magistrate court acquitted two owners of the workshop accused of negligence in the incident.
The incident took place in 2006
The unfortunate incident took place on August 18, 2006 at Baithul Manzil building in Mirza Street, Zaveri Bazaar. Six persons were also badly injured. The LT Marg police station booked the three owners of a workshop as it found the fire was caused due to a cylinder blast when one Nazir was attempting to fill gas from the cylinder into a lighter. The accused had allegedly stored gas cylinders in their workshop and would transfer the gas from it into smaller tin cylinders and lighters.
The police booked the owners Mehmood Shaikh, Khurshid Shaikh and Ajim Shaikh under Indian Penal Code Sections Sec 304(A) (causing death by negligence), 285 (negligence conduct with fire on combustible matter), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) among other offences under the Gas Cylinder Act and Essential Commodities Act. Of the three, Ajim Shaikh died before trial could commence.
Prosecution failed to provide any document
In a judgment early this month, a metropolitan magistrate of the city’s Esplanade court held that the prosecution had failed to prove that the incident was due to rash or negligent acts of the accused or that they were responsible for the incident. Magistrate Yashshree Marulkar said further that the prosecution had failed to produce any oral or documentary evidence that the accused were owners of the workshop. The police had examined only two witnesses - one of them a police witness. The court said these witnesses have not whispered a single word how the accused were rash and negligent leading to the incident.