HC wants fencing of Shakti Mills where scribe was gangraped
The Bombay High Court today gave three weeks’ time to Public and Works Department of the Maharashtra government to construct a gate and complete the fencing
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today gave three weeks’ time to Public and Works Department of the Maharashtra government to construct a gate and complete the fencing of the defunct Shakti Mills compound where a photo-journalist was gangraped last year.
The order was passed by Justice Nitin Jamdar, who while hearing the ‘winding up’ petition of the defunct Shakti Mills, had asked PWD to undertake phase-wise steps to ensure that the mill compound was secured.
The court also asked the official liquidator to submit a report within two weeks on installing powerful flash bulbs in the compound so that the site was lit up during the night.
Naushad Engineer, an amicus curiae appointed by the court to assist in the matter, said two types of bulbs could be fitted, one was LED lamps and the other was HPSV (high pressure sodium vapour) bulbs. This would cost Rs 19 to Rs 25 lakh depending on the type of the bulbs, he said.
The court then asked him to submit a report in this regard within two weeks when the matter would be heard again. Justice Jamdar had earlier stressed the need to take urgent steps to secure the Shakti Mills premises in central Mumbai after the gangrape incident in August 2013. The PWD was asked to undertake phase-wise steps in this regard.
In the first phase, the shrubbery and other debris was cleared in order to patrol the area. In the second phase, the compound wall was fixed and all the entry points was sealed to secure the parameters of the mill premises.
However, the amicus curiae informed the court today that the main and the only gate was yet to be constructed and fencing of barbed wires on the compound wall was still to be done, for which they needed time. The court then asked PWD to complete the job within a month.
Soon after the gangrape of the photojournalist in the deserted premises, the high court had directed the official liquidator and PWD officials to conduct joint inspection and submit a report. The report had said that three measures are needed to be taken to secure the area: clearing the shrubbery, trimming the trees and fencing the premises.