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AMRI fire case: Court to frame charges on Apr 16

AMRI fire case: Court to frame  charges on Apr 16
The incident had claimed 93 lives on December 9, 2011. Subsequently, 13 people including the top administrators of the hospital were arrested and three, who were at large for many days after the incident, were given anticipatory bail. The other 13 were also granted bail later.

The police had arrested directors Radhya Shyam Agarwal, Radhya Shyam Goenka, Ravi Todi, SK Todi, Dayanand Agarwal, Manish Goenka and Prasant Goenka. The doctors in the board of the hospital Dr Moni Chettri, Dr Pranab Dasgupta and Dr Satyabrata Upadhyay and three senior officials Pritha Banerjee, Sajid Hussain and Sanjib Pal — were also held. Three more directors Preeti Sulekha, Rahul Todi and Aditya Agarwal were granted anticipatory bail.

The detective department of the city police had filed the 1200-page charge-sheet within 83 days of the incident and there were 450 witnesses in the case. In the charge-sheet, the police had accused 13 of them under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 11J, 11K and 11L of the West Bengal Fire Act. Similar charges were also brought against the three officials except the allegations under Sections 11J, 11K and 11L of the West Bengal Fire Act.

Soon after the charge-sheet was filed, the hearing before framing of charges had begun. Objecting the charge of culpable homicide not amounting to death as brought by the police against all the 16 accused, the defence counsels had submitted before the court pleading a change in the section to 304A that is causing death by negligence.

The defence counsels had submitted their plea before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore and the plea was rejected. Later, the case had moved to the court of Additional District Judge (Third), District and Sessions Court, Alipore. The defence counsels again pleaded the same before the Additional District Judge (Third) and submitted for a change in the section.

Hearing on the petition to change, the section continued. The state’s counsel had always objected the plea.

Salim Rahaman, the defence counsel of the directors and the officials, said that the court on Saturday rejected their plea and will frame charges in this connection on April 16. 
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