2011 fire:Court refuses to quash summons to accused

2011 fire:Court refuses to quash summons to accused
2011 fire:Court refuses to quash summons to accused

A delhi court has refused to quash criminal proceedings against a man accused of causing death on a person by negligence in a 2011 fire incident in South Delhi, saying the Investigating Officer had “twisted facts” to show it as an accidental happening.

The court dismissed the plea of Harish Ahuja, the accused contractor who was carrying out welding work in the building when the fire broke out causing the death of a person and injury to another, while upholding the magisterial court’s 2015 order summoning him to face trial for offences under IPC.

“I have no hesitation in holding that in the complaint made to the police, the complainant had levelled categorical, emphatic and clear allegations against petitioner.

“His statement cannot be brushed aside in a lighter manner and straightway it cannot be thrown in a dustbin unless and until veracity and truthfulness of the statement is examined from evidence so adduced by complainant on oath and tested by the petitioner before court by way of cross examination of the witness,” Additional Sessions Judge Lokesh Kumar Sharma said.

The court rejected his contention that the incident took place on December 11, 2011, whereas the order was passed by the magistrate on August 6, 2015, almost 4 years after the incident which was beyond the time period permitted in law.

“I am not impressed with this contention of the petitioner (Ahuja) because despite the occurrence of an offence, the IO had twisted the facts in such a manner so as to give it an accidental happening without fixing any liability or responsibility upon shoulders of anybody, who were actually guilty and liable to be held responsible for their negligent act.

“It was only after the intervention of the Court that in its March 21, 2014 order, it arrived at a definite opinion that it was not a case of an accident simplicitor, rather, a case of rash and negligent act on the part of petitioner,” the sessions judge said.

Ahuja was put on trial for offences under sections 304A (causing death by negligence), 338(causing hurt by endangering life), 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings), 285 (Negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) of the IPC.

Challenging the order, the accused had alleged the charge sheet was not filed within the period of limitation and the magistrate could not take cognisance after expiry of the time.

The alleged incident took place in DLF tower in Jasola when complainant Lal Babu Shah and the deceased victim, Hari Kishore, were placing PVC flooring. At the same place, Ahuja and his workers were carrying on the welding work.

It was claimed that the vicitms had repeatedly requested the accused to stop work as the chemical of the PVC flooring could catch fire from welding sparks. But they refused and the fire led to the mishap and killed Kishore.

( Source – PTI )

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