The Morbi police has sought documents and official communication about the agreements between the government authorities and the Oreva Group pertaining to Jhulto Pul, the suspension bridge that collapsed leaving 135 dead on October 30. It is learnt that the cops have issued a communication to Rajkot and Morbi collectorates and the Morbi municipality on November 4 seeking details of the agreements.
“For the collectorate offices, we will send a reminder again in case of failure to produce the documents within 24 hours. We plan to issue summons under CrPC 160 to the Morbi municipality in case they do not present the said documents,” said PA Zala, deputy superintendent of Morbi police and the investigating officer in the case.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the police reportedly sought an in-camera proceeding as it produced the four of the nine accused before a magisterial court. However, the court rejected the request.
A police official familiar with the investigation told The Indian Express that “the open court proceedings from the last remand hearing alerted the accused and the suspects and Oreva (Group) shut down its office and was locked thereafter.”
A local crime branch official also added that the FSL report is expected in the next three working days, and after that, “based on the findings in the report, coupled with findings from the documents seized and the chief officer of Morbi municipality’s statement under CrPC section 154, suspects will be probed further.”
At the same time, the police have recovered documents related to the work undertaken by the subcontractor fabricating company in 2007 and 2022 for the bridge. “We have recovered documents pertaining to the purchase, the work order and the contract (signed between Oreva and Dev Prakash).”
The Indian Express had earlier reported that Dev Prakash Fabrication, the company engaged by Oreva Group to restore the bridge, did not undertake any “scientific assessment of structural stability”. The company is owned by the father-son duo–contractors Prakashbhai Laljibhai Parmar (63) and Devangbhai Prakashbhai Parmar.
Police said the 2007 renovation of the bridge was subcontracted to the same proprietors although the company at the time was named ‘Vishwakarma’.
According to police submissions before the magisterial court Saturday, the police have also recovered purchase and payment papers from Oreva.
Zala said a contract worth Rs 29 lakh was signed between Oreva and the Surendranagar-based fabricating sub-contractor Dev Prakash Fabrication. Oreva allocated another Rs 2.11 lakh for painting jobs pertaining to the bridge, while the electric fitting-related work was to be undertaken by the company itself.