A Mumbai-based activist has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court seeking prosecution of railway officials for what he said were negligence and culpable homicide in connection with the stampede at the Elphinstone Road railway station that killed 26 people.
Activist Pradeep Bhalekar filed the PIL through his lawyer Nitin Satpute in the High Court a day after the tragedy shocked India.
“The petition has been submitted to the registry. We will mention it on 3 October,” Satpute was quoted by PTI.
The PIL alleged the issue of the Elphinstone Road bridge being too narrow had been raised by citizens time and again but the government and the railways failed to take action. It also requested the court to direct the Railways to grant Rs 10 lakh to the families of the deceased and Rs 2 lakh each to the injured, reported Times of India.
“This is complete negligence on part of the railways. A case under section 304 (II) of the IPC for culpable homicide needs to be registered against the railway officials concerned,” the petition said.
The plea also sought measures to be undertaken to ensure safety of commuters.
“The railways has to be also directed to take action against illegal hawkers and encroachers on foot overbridges (FoB) to reduce crowding,” the PIL said.
Many citizens including cartoonist Manjul had highlighted the danger way back in January this year asking the officials to take urgent action.
Elphinstone station gets very crowded during the peak hours as office goers make their way to Parel area through this footover bridge. Both Elphinstone and Parel are among Mumbai’s busiest stations. The area has a large number of offices in the vicinity with most TV channels also being in Lower Parel area.