January 31, 2023

Ahmedabad, Jan 25 : The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday said that even if Oreva Group pays compensation to kith and kin of Morbi bridge collapse victims, criminal trial against its director will continue.

A bench of Chief Justice Arvind Kumar and Justice A J Shastri made the observation after Oreva group director
Jaysukh Patel, in an affidavit submitted to the court, offered to pay suitable compensation to kith and kin of victims.

In the affidavit, Patel submitted that he is willingly and unconditionally ready to take responsibility of seven children who have lost their parents in the tragedy.

He further said that he took the repair work not for any commercial work but to preserve the heritage and some influential people had helped him to get this work.

The director submitted that he is even given maintenance and repair work of Jamsab tower clock in Rajkot.

The state government in its reply stated, “There are 1441 over bridges across the state, of which 63 major bridges need repair, of total over bridges, 168 major bridges and 180 minor bridges are in the municipal corporation areas, other over bridges are in nagar palika area, of 100 odd bridges, 32 are major bridges, 27 of them are under repair.”

On October 30, 2022, a suspension bridge on Machchhu river in Morbi collapsed, in which 135 persons were killed.

The said bridge’s repair and maintenance work contract was given to Oreva group by Morbi Nagar palika. Without proper permission and fitness certificate, the Oreva group director had thrown the bridge open for public.

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The High Court taking suo motu cognisance of the tragic incident, had impleaded Oreva group director as respondent in the PIL.