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Lawyers In Morbi Stage Protest, Refuse To Fight Case For Accused

Morbi (Gujarat): Lawyers in Gujarat’s Morbi on Wednesday held a protest march, voicing their refusal to fight the case for all the nine accused who have been arrested so far in connection to the Morbi bridge collapse case where 135 people were killed on October 30.

Of the nine accused, two belong to the Oreva group (a Gujrat-based electrical appliances manufacturer) which is under scanner after allegedly opening the suspension bridge in Morbi without informing the local municipality on Gujarati New Year day. Oreva group was given the contract for the maintenance of the century-old suspension bridge. Morbi court has sent four accused in the case to police custody till Saturday and the other five have been sent to judicial custody. Out of four persons in Police custody, two are Oreva company Managers and two others are people working for the fabrication work contractor. The lawyers in Morbi are refusing to fight the case for all these nine accused in the case.

The lawyers have reportedly taken this stand to show their support for the Next of kin of those who died in the Morbi mishap.

“Morbi Bar Association and Rajkot Bar Association have decided to not take the case of nine people arrested in the Morbi tragedy and represent them. Both the Bar Associations have passed this Resolution,” A C Prajapati, senior advocate, Morbi Bar Association said.

As per reports one of the Defence lawyers had argued that this is Act of God and that is why the arrest of the accused was not right. “The accused inside the Court framed the mishap as an ‘Act of God’, but as per the FIR registered in the case it is a case of ‘criminal negligence’ and not an ‘Act of God’,” Dilip, Ex President, Morbi Bar Association said.

“The Morbi Bar Association will also take a rally to the incident spot, where the bridge collapsed, and will pay tribute to the deceased of the Morbi mishap,” said Jeetu Jadeja head of Morbi Bar Association.

The suspension bridge above the Machchhu River in the Morbi district collapsed on October 30. Visuals showed people falling into the river below.

The Gujarat Police has filed a First Information Report under IPC sections 304 and 308 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against the nine people of Oreva group, accused in the bridge collapse tragedy.

The Gujarat government has constituted a five-member committee to probe the bridge collapse incident.

“An FIR has been registered against the maintenance and management agencies of the bridge, under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 114 (abettor present when the offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code,” said Morbi B Division Police Inspector, Prakashbhai Dekavadiya.

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