For Real Time Updates and Better ExperienceDownload the app Now!
Download the app Now!

Guj HC serves contempt notice to Oreva Group in Morbi bridge collapse case

Updated: Apr 20th, 2024

Gujarat High Court

The Gujarat High Court on Apr 19 came down heavily on the Oreva Group for its irresponsible attitude in the Morbi Bridge collapse case that claimed 135 lives in October 2022.

The court issued a contempt notice to the company’s director for not filing the affidavit about the efforts made in victim rehabilitation and directed to submit the required documentation within a week.

A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha P Mayee, hearing a suo motu PIL (public interest litigation) on the bridge collapse, expressed its displeasure over the company’s failure to file a detailed affidavit despite being given two opportunities.

The court also refused to entertain any compromise on the issue of compensation for the victims.

The court directed the Morbi district collector and the Oreva Group to collectively work to provide all possible assistance to the victims.

Oreva Group reprimanded

At the outset of the hearing, the Oreva Group claimed that it was not aware of the collector’s affidavit and sought time to file its response.

However, the court took a stern view and said, “Earlier, you were saying that you could not do anything because your director was in jail. But what now? This is a suo motu PIL filed by the High Court, and the company is not bound to be heard. You have only to follow the court’s directions.”

The court lashed out at the Oreva Group, stating, “We have studied the SIT (special investigation team) report. The Oreva Group is solely responsible for this tragedy. Aluminium was used instead of wood in the suspension bridge, and no expert was consulted for the bridge repairs. Does the company not want to compensate the disabled and orphaned children?”

The court put the Oreva Group on the dock by asking, “What happened to the trust that was asked to be formed to help the victims? What has the company done about the rehabilitation of the victim families, as it had promised three months ago? Why has the Oreva Group not filed an affidavit for three months? Are you trying to avoid the court by waiting for the government’s affidavit?”

Unsatisfied by the company’s explanation, the court served a contempt notice. The  group was ordered to submit an affidavit with a detailed explanation of this within the next week.

Also read:

Guj HC directs Oreva group to adopt Morbi village, look after victims’ kins

Morbi bridge tragedy: SC grants conditional bail to Oreva Group’s Jaysukh Patel

Morbi bridge tragedy: Guj HC directs Oreva Group to caretake the victims, orphans