Madras High Court to hear 10-year-old writ petition filed by M.K. Stalin seeking CBI probe into Moulivakkam building collapse tragedy in Chennai.
The Madras High Court will hear on Tuesday (January 2, 2024) a writ petition filed by Chief Minister M.K. Stalin in 2014, when he was the treasurer of the DMK, seeking a CBI probe into the Moulivakkam building collapse tragedy in Chennai that left 61 dead and many injured.
The nearly 10-year-old writ petition was heard last on March 10, 2017 and was not listed for hearing thereafter. After a break of nearly seven years, it has been listed again before the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice D. Bharatha Chakravarthy on the first working day of 2024.
The tragedy had occurred at a residential project, ‘Trust Heights,’ developed by real estate firm Prime Sristi Housing Private Limited on Kundrathur Main Road in Moulivakkam near Porur on June 28, 2014. An under-construction 11-storey tower named ‘The Faith’ had collapsed onto an adjoining tower named ‘The Belief.’
Then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa constituted a Special Investigation Team to look into the incident. She also appointed a Commission of Inquiry led by retired Madras High Court judge R. Regupathy to inquire into the circumstances that led to the collapse of the multi-storey building.
Dissatisfied with the probe by the SIT, Mr. Stalin had approached the court insisting upon a CBI inquiry. “The entire exercise of the investigation undertaken by the SIT is a cover-up carried out in order to conceal and protect the real offenders by diluting evidence,” he had contended.
After the filing of the case, the then State government had informed the court of the developments including the submission of a report by the Commission of Inquiry which had made many recommendations, including the enactment of a law to make an insurance package compulsory for builders. The court was also informed of the report having been tabled in the Assembly in August 2015.
Subsequently, in November 2016, the State government apprised the court of the surviving 11-storey tower named ‘The Belief’ having been razed down, using explosives, due to safety concerns at the crash site.