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PIL filed in the Bombay High Court seeking a criminal case against BMC officials

A PIL was filed in the Bombay High Court on Thursday seeking a criminal case against civic officials over the death of Dr. Deepak Amrapurkar, whose body was found in a drain at Worli.

The PIL has accused the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation of ‘causing death due to negligence’ and has demanded that it pay a compensation of Rs 50 lakh to any NGO in the city.

The 58-year-old gastroenterologist at Bombay Hospital in Marine Lines slipped into an open manhole on August 29 while wading through water-logged streets near Elphinstone Road station. He was on his way back home from the hospital. His body was found after a search operation on Thursday.

The public interest litigation was filed by the Federation of Retail Traders Welfare Association, which is registered with the Charity Commissioner. The Mumbai branch of the Indian Medical Association will also be party to the PIL.

The plea filed by Advocate Ashish Mehta seeks for a criminal case to be registered against the BMC Commissioner and other erring officers under Section 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of the Indian Pneal Code. The group also demanded that the civic body, which has an annual budget of more than ₹30,000 crore, pay ₹50 lakh to any charitable organisation that works for the welfare of the city.

Another plea made by the group was to form an advisory committee of ex-bureaucrats and technocrats to conduct a detailed inspection of all manholes and to suggest ways and means for streamlining the working and operations of the manholes.

The group also wanted a direction for the BMC to lay before the court its current and present policy vis-à- vis “the working and operations of manholes” so as to understand the scope and its effectiveness in dealing with fatal incidents.

The PIL will be heard on September 1 before a Division Bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice N.M. Jamdar.

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