Police File Chargesheet in Morbi Bridge Collapse Case, Name Oreva MD

The newly reopened bridge had collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people.

New Delhi: The Morbi police on Friday (January 27) filed a 1,200-page chargesheet in the Morbi bridge collapse case, naming managing director of Oreva Group Jaysukh Patel as an accused. The newly reopened bridge had collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people.

There are nine other accused named, including two Oreva Group managers, who have already been arrested, Indian Express reported. An arrest warrant was issued against Patel on January 13 and the police has been looking for him. The probe team said he had been included as an accused because all documentation on repair work for the bridge bore his signature.

After the collapse, the police had filed an FIR under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code against the “agencies responsible for maintenance and management” of the bridge “along with others whose names may emerge during the course of the investigation”. Nobody had been named then.

The chargesheet has been filed against the 10 accused under IPC sections 304, 308, 114, 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others).

“The police have filed a chargesheet of about 1,262 pages. Based on police investigation, Oreva managing director Jaysukh Patel is the main accused in the case. There are nine others, arrested earlier in the case, who are named in the chargesheet,” Ashok Yadav, Range IG, Rajkot told Hindustan Times.

The nine people arrested so far are AMPL managers Deepak Parekh and Dineshbhai Dave, two ticket-booking clerks, three security guards posted at the bridge, and two private contractors who had carried out repair and maintenance of the bridge between March and October last year.

The Oreva Group had been given the contract to repair the Morbi bridge in March 2022, by the local municipality. The state government has since suspended Sandipsinh Zala, then chief officer of the Morbi municipality who signed the MoU with Oreva.

The government-appointed SIT had found several problems with the repair work. The municipality too has been questioned on the matter, as movement on the bridge was not regulated and several design faults were found in the bridge post renovation works.

The Gujarat high court, which took suo moto cognisance of the collapse, had pulled up the municipality for its lax attitude.