Seven people died in the March 14 bridge collapse. Patil and Kakulte were arrested on April 2. Last week, a magistrate court rejected their pleas for bail. The accused have been booked under the serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Public prosecutor Mangesh Arote said the pleas will come up for hearing on Thursday.
In his bail plea submitted before judge MS Azmi, Patil said on November 3, 2016, the AMC wrote to the executive engineer (bridges) stating the municipal commissioner has instructed him to beautify the bridge and that the bridge department should give its remarks on its stability. “The assistant municipal commissioner A ward did not wait for the NOC of the bridge department and started the work with utmost hurry on November 9, 2016 for reasons best known to him,” Patil’s bail plea said.
The plea also claimed the AMC regularly supervised the work and he even signed the bills of the contractors who repaired the structure. The plea said since the repairs or “so called beautification work” was carried out by the AMC of the A ward, it was their responsibility to see if the work was done properly or not. Patil said he had no role in executing the work.
Refuting the charges, Patil stated even assuming he had not done his job properly, in the worst case scenario, it could merely be called dereliction of duty.
The court is also likely to pronounce order on the bail plea of Neeraj Desai, director of the firm that had audited the bridge, on Thursday. Desai, too, has been in jail since last month.