New Delhi: Two builders, arrested in connection with the wall-collapse incident in Pune’s Kondhwa have been sent to police custody till July 2 by a sessions court on Sunday. The builders were produced before Judicial Magistrate (First Class) SS Ramdin who remanded them in police custody till Tuesday.
Vipul Agarwal and Vivek Agarwal, the developers and partners in Alcon Landmarks, were arrested on Saturday after a portion of a 22-ft-high compound wall of a housing society collapsed, killing 17 people including four children.
Appearing before the court, the prosecution said that the police custody of the accused was needed to investigate the case, as residents of the housing society had raised the issue of the compound wall’s condition with the builders from time-to-time but no action was taken by them.
The police also told the court they need to seize some documents and maps of the Alcon Stylus building and investigate to whom the developers had given the contract to construct the wall.
However, defence lawyer Sanjay Agarwal opposed the demand for police custody, saying it cannot be a case of culpable homicide. “It is a case of death caused by negligence under Indian Penal Code Section 304-A,” he said.
The police have booked the accused under IPC Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (common intention).
Yesterday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had ordered the Pune Collector to conduct a detailed probe into the incident in Kondwa. “Extremely saddened to know about loss of lives in the Pune wall collapse incident,” CM Fadnavis had said, announcing a compensation of Rs 500,000 to the kin of each deceased and Rs 25,000 for each injured in the tragedy, the biggest in the current monsoon season.
Opposition Congress state President Ashok Chavan demanded that the government should take stringent against all those found guilty for it and take measures to provide relief to the families of the victims and survivors.
Pune has witnessed several similar tragedies at construction sites, claiming several lives. In July 2016, a slab crashed from a 13-storied building killing nine labourers. Earlier in December 2012, 13 workers were killed when the dome of a building collapsed, and in September 2012, 11 workers were killed when an illegal building crashed.