Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Plea Seeking Judicial Enquiry Into Morbi Bridge Collapse
The Supreme Court has agreed to urgently hear a plea seeking the establishment of a judicial enquiry commission to inquire into the Morbi Bride Collapse and has directed listing of the matter on November 14, 2022.
In an unfortunate event on October 30, 2022, a century-old suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujrat collapsed resulting in the death of more than 130 people, leaving several injured.
Advocate Vishal Tiwari mentioned the matter before the Bench of Chief Justice UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi. The Bench remarked, "You are very quick. What are your prayers".
It was contended that a reassessment of structures in other states is required to prevent the recurrence of such unfortunate incidents, in addition to the establishment of a judicial enquiry.
The petition claims that the authorities failed in controlling the tourists despite knowing the limited capacity of the bridge. ".....[it was] lapse and negligent action on the part of government authorities in not overseeing the actions of repairs and maintenance and allowed to open the bridge despite no issue of fitness certificate", the plea says.
The Morbi Bridge on the Machchhu river in Morbi, located around 300 km from the state capital Gandhinagar was opened to the public five days ago after extensive repairs and renovation.
The Petitioner seeks assessment surveys of other old and risky bridges like the Living Bridges of Meghalaya, Pamban Bridge in Rameshwaram, Old Naini Bridge in Prayagraj, etc. to avoid such public casualties and horrific injuries. The Petitioner has also prayed, "constitute Construction Incident Investigation Department so that fast and prompt investigation could be done whenever such incidents occur and such department shall also have duty to assess and enquire about the quality and safety of any public construction taking place."
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeks the setting up of a Special Enquiry Commission to be headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court. Further, it is demanded that a committee to conduct survey and assess risk for other public bridges, monuments, etc. may be constituted.
Cause Title: Vishal Tiwari versus Union of India