Morbi bridge collapse: Oreva MD surrenders, sent to judicial custody
Jaysukh Patel—the managing director (MD) of Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (AMPL), Oreva Group—accused in the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy that killed 135 people surrendered at a court in Morbi, Gujarat, on Tuesday, ANI reported. Subsequently, the court sent him to judicial custody. Notably, his arrest warrant was issued last week after the police named him as the prime accused in the bridge collapse case.
Why does this story matter?
- Patel's surrender came three months after the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy on October 30, 2022.
- Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (Oreva Group), managed by him, was reportedly in charge of operating and maintaining the collapsed British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu River.
- Soon after the incident, Patel went missing, and a warrant was issued for his arrest last week.
1,262-page chargesheet indicted Oreva Group, its management
According to PTI, the Gujarat Police filed a 1,262-page chargesheet over the tragedy, which resulted in 135 fatalities and several hundred injuries in October 2022, four days ago. The British-era bridge's maintenance was reportedly under the purview of the Oreva Group. In the chargesheet, Patel was listed as an "absconder" as he had reportedly been missing since the incident in October.
Watch: Jaysukh Patel surrenders before court
#WATCH | Morbi Bridge collapse: Jaysukh Patel of Oreva Group sent to judicial custody. He earlier surrendered before the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in Morbi. pic.twitter.com/LIQp5idJDe— ANI (@ANI) January 31, 2023
Morbi court adjourned hearing on Patel's anticipatory bail plea
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate MJ Khan in Morbi issued an arrest warrant against Patel last week after receiving an application from police under Section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), per ANI. Anticipating arrest, Patel sought anticipatory bail from the Morbi sessions court on January 20. However, due to the public prosecutor's absence, the hearing was adjourned until February 1.
How prominent is Patel's role?
According to the investigating team, Patel was charged as an accused since all communications and dealings concerning the Morbi bridge's operations, administration, and maintenance were directly under his purview. Notably, all of the documents found in Oreva Group's Morbi headquarters had Patel's signature. He is one of the 10 accused persons in the bridge collapse tragedy.
FSL report on Morbi bridge collapse
According to a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report, damaged anchor pins, loose bolts, and rusted cables were not checked or replaced by Oreva during the bridge's repair/renovation. The report also claimed Oreva did not employ an expert agency to inspect the bridge's load-bearing capability before reopening it, too. It also stated that the company sold over 3,000 tickets on the day of the incident.
Accused booked under these IPC Sections
The FIR in the case was reportedly filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 114 (abettor present when the offense is committed), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
Other nine accused in the case
Besides Patel, nine people have been arrested in the case so far, including AMPL managers Dineshbhai Dave and Deepak Parekh, three security personnel deployed at the bridge, two ticket clerks, and the private contractors who carried out bridge maintenance and repair works between March and October 2022. Dave and Parekh were in charge of AMPL's Samakhiali and Morbi manufacturing plants, respectively.
CCTV footage shows the exact moment when the bridge snapped
Here's how the #MorbiBridge collapsed. @TheQuint @QuintHindi pic.twitter.com/HF9fSKsOCa— Himanshi Dahiya (@himansshhi) October 31, 2022