Home Nation News Oreva Group Offers to Pay Compensation to Victims; HC Says it Won’t Absolve it of Any Liability

Oreva Group Offers to Pay Compensation to Victims; HC Says it Won’t Absolve it of Any Liability

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Oreva Group Offers to Pay Compensation to Victims; HC Says it Won’t Absolve it of Any Liability

Last Updated: January 25, 2023, 20:33 IST

The suspension bridge was maintained and operated by Oreva Group as per an agreement signed with the Morbi municipality (Image: News18 File)

The suspension bridge was maintained and operated by Oreva Group as per an settlement signed with the Morbi municipality (Image: News18 File)

The firm “fairly admits that payment of such compensation should in no way prejudice the rights of any other parties”, the court docket stated

The Gujarat High Court agreed to the Oreva Group’s provide on Wednesday to pay compensation to the victims of the Morbi bridge collapse that left 135 useless and a number of other injured however stated it will “not absolve it of any liability”.

Oreva Group (Ajanta Manufacturing Limited) was chargeable for the operation and upkeep of the British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river that collapsed on October 30 final yr, with a particular investigation group shaped by the state authorities citing a number of lapses on the half of the agency.

The firm’s lawyer Nirupam Nanavati instructed the division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri, which is listening to a suo motu plea on the tragedy, that it maintained the cable-stayed construction as half of its “philanthropic activities” and never a “commercial venture”.

The firm, which was impleaded as a respondent within the case, supplied to pay compensation to the households of the 135 deceased, 56 injured individuals and 7 orphaned youngsters, to which the court docket directed it to file an affidavit and noticed that such an act “would not absolve it of any liability, either directly or vicariously”.

The firm “fairly admits that payment of such compensation should in no way prejudice the rights of any other parties”, the court docket stated.

“We make it clear that the payment of compensation even by the 7th respondent (Oreva) to the victims or relatives should not absolve it of any liability either directly or vicariously,” it stated.

“It is also made clear that the proceedings initiated against the (Oreva) by other authorities namely the instrumentality of state, be it revenue or police authorities, shall be taken to its logical end without any reference to the payment of this compensation,” the court docket additional stated.

It directed Oreva to deposit the quantity with the state to allow them to take additional steps within the matter.

“It was an old bridge, a heritage bridge…Some other entities – very, very highly posted, I do not want to name them – persuaded me to take over and maintain,” Nanavati stated in his submission on behalf of his consumer.

An arrest warrant has been issued in opposition to Managing Director of Oreva Jaysukh Patel, whereas he has filed for anticipatory bail plea in Morbi court docket.

The excessive court docket on Wednesday additionally pulled up the Morbi municipality and stated it has failed to disclose in its affidavit “as to how the seventh respondent (Oreva Group) was permitted to use the bridge from December 29, 2021 till it was closed on March 7, 2022”.

It stated rival contentions confirmed that Oreva was “using the bridge despite there being no approval for its utilisation”. “It would also emerge from the said affidavit that the agreement dated Mar 8, 2022, was not formally approved by the general body of the municipality,” it stated.

In an oral comment, it stated an inference may very well be drawn that there was collusion between the civic physique and Oreva.

In its affidavit on the situation of bridges, the state authorities stated there are 23 bridges that require main repairs and 40 minor repairs. Work on 27 of these bridges is accomplished, it stated.

The authorities additionally stated there was a necessity for the formulation of a uniform coverage with regard to the upkeep of bridges to be adopted by the developmental authorities and such a coverage is underneath energetic consideration.

The court docket directed the federal government to place on report any coverage choice so taken on this regard. It additionally directed the state authorities to perform work on “war footing” on the 23 bridges that require main repairs.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 workers and is printed from a syndicated information company feed)

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