Nine years after a 51-year-old BMC executive engineer Mahendrakumar Patel was booked among other civic body employees for the 2013 collapse of ‘Babu Genu Market’ building in Mazgaon in which 61 persons had lost their lives, he was granted a discharge from the case on Monday as the civic body’s commissioner had refused to grant sanction to prosecute him and the refusal was not challenged by the police either.
The four-storey building in Dockyard Road collapsed on September 27, 2013. It housed the employees of the civic body’s market department. Patel and others were booked under IPC Sec 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), Sec 337 (rash or negligent act endangering human life) among other offences.
The court said that his trial is not permissible for want of sanction. The BMC’s commissioner had refused to grant sanction and the order had attained finality, the court said, as the prosecution had not challenged the refusal to grant sanction before the Bombay High Court. The Sewree police had contended that they had applied for re-sanction and the plea was pending. Additional Sessions Judge MG Deshpande said this cannot be a ground to continue the trial without sanction. It held that the prosecution had not obtained sanction even after its refusal by the competent authority and had thus not complied with the mandate.
Judge Deshpande said continuing the trial will be nothing but only a wastage of papers amounting to a futile exercise. The court noted that It is material to note that Mr. IS. Chahal, the Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai by his letter dated March 15, 2021 clearly communicated to the police commissioner, Mumbai that he has refused to grant sanction to prosecute persons like the applicant as there is absolutely no evidence to indicate any criminal mind and remote intention on the part of Municipal Corporation Engineers or officers regarding the incident in question. It said the refusal on his part amounts to rejection and today, there is no sanction to prosecute the applicant.