“It is an enormous tragedy, and this will require a weekly monitoring to see award of contract, credential of party awarded the contract, attribution of responsibility for those guilty. High court has taken charge, else we would have issued notice,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice Hima Kohli said.
The bench’s remark came during the hearing of a public interest litigation by advocate Vishal Tiwari and Chavada Dilipbhai, who had lost his brother and sister-in-law in the tragedy. The petitioners sought investigation into acts of criminal wrongdoing, the need to affix responsibility against officials of Nagar Palika and to ensure that the agency entrusted with the task of maintaining the bridge and its management were held accountable including arrests.
Observing that the HC was already cognisant of the matter, SC refused to entertain the two petitions. It, however, granted the petitioners liberty to raise their demands, including the demand for an independent probe, before the HC. The court granted the petitioners liberty to approach the HC to raise their issues either by filing an independent petition under Article 226 of the Constitution or by intervening in the suo motu case.
The petitioners also argued that the compensation awarded by the state to the victims was inadequate. The counsel for one of the petitioners argued that while ₹10 to 15 crore is given for sports, nothing substantial has been awarded in the instant case.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, however, argued that since the HC was already seized of the matter, there is no occasion for the SC to intervene. The Solicitor General contended that whatever has been argued can be taken up before the HC.