Three Malvani hooch tragedy accused denied interim bail

Three accused in the 2015 Malvani illicit liquor tragedy which had claimed 106 lives and rendered 74 disabled, were denied temporary bail that they had claimed in the current pandemic situation.

One of the applicants was Baroda-based alleged bootlegger Subhash Giri, 70, who had said in his bail plea that he suffered severe heart problem. He is accused of being one of the suppliers of the chemical that was used to make the spurious liquor which looks and smells like alcohol, consuming which led to the tragedy.

The other two applicants are Gautam Arde, in his 30s and Francis D’Mello, 47. Arde was found to be supplying the spurred liquor in the Malvani slums. It was from D’ Mello’s home that 1,100 litres of the spurious liquor was seized.

Special Public Prosecutor Pradip Gharat had opposed the bail pleas. In case of Giri, he had told court that after the crime was registered, Giri had fled to UP to evade arrest and had tried to die by suicide. He also pointed that he was involved in another illicit liquor tragedy in Ahmedabad in 2009 which had led to deaths of 147 people there.

While rejecting the bail plea of Giri, Additional Sessions Judge RM Sadrani noted his earlier criminal history in the Ahmedabad incident and his trying to die by suicide after registration of the Malvani crime. In these circumstances, it is not safe, judge Sadrani found, to grant him temporary bail. In a separate order where he decided the bail pleas of Arde and D’Mello, he noted the seriousness and nature of the offence, while declining them bail.

Residents of slums in Laxmi Nagar near Gamdevi Jurassic Park of Malvani developed respiratory problems, nausea and diarrhoea on consuming the illicit liquor in mid-June 2015. 16 accused had been charged with murder, attempt to murder, causing hurt by poison and criminal conspiracy among other sections of the Indian Penal Code by the DCB-CID.

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