Bawana fire tragedy accused sent to 14-day judicial custody

Bawana fire tragedy accused sent to 14-day judicial custody

The owners of a firecracker storage unit in Bawana industrial area, where 17 people were recently killed in a massive blaze, were today sent to 14-days judicial custody by a Delhi court.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Gagandeep Singh sent Manoj Jain and Lalit Goyal, owner and co-owner respectively of the factory, to Tihar Jail till February 13 after the police sought the same step to prevent them from tampering with evidence.

"Both accused produced from police remand along with their counsel. Heard. File perused. Both accused be remanded to judicial custody till February 13," the magistrate said.

During the hearing, the police sought that the accused be sent to judicial custody so that they do not commit any further offence.

"The accused be sent to judicial custody to prevent them from causing the evidence to disappear or tampering with such evidence in any manner," the police said.

Jain was arrested on January 21 and Goyal on January 27 and sent to police custody. Both were produced before the court today on expiry of their police custody.

Meanwhile, advocate Rishipal Singh, representing a few victims of the tragedy, moved an application seeking an independent probe into the matter by agencies like the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

The plea sought transfer of the probe from Delhi Police, alleging that "no fruitful investigation" had been made so far. The plea is likely to be heard on February 3.

A fire had broken out in the storage unit on the ground floor of the two-storey building in Bawana on January 20 and ripped through the structure. Of the 17 killed, 10 were women. A man and woman were injured in the incident.

The court had earlier dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Goyal saying the charges against him were "serious".

The police had alleged that both the accused were running the factory without a licence and explosive materials were procured from outside Delhi. It had also claimed that the explosive materials were brought to the city without any permission or checking.

It had sought the custody of the accused to verify whether he was running any other illegal enterprise.

An FIR was registered under various provisions of the IPC relating to culpable homicide not amounting to murder and negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible material. The maximum punishment for the offences is 10 years.  

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