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Industrial Accident - Gujarat High Court declines anticipatory bail to Management holding prima facie case of criminal negligence   Aug 11, 2020

The case relates to an industrial accident that occurred at “Yashasvi Rasayan Pvt. Ltd.”situated at Village Lakhi, Taluka Vagra, District Bharch, in which around 10 persons died and more than 75 sustained injuries. All the dead were workers / employees of the Company.  An FiR , being FIR No.11199035200119 of 2020 was registered with Dahej Marine Police Station, District Bharuch for the offences punishable under sections 304, 337, 338, 203, 285, 286, 287, 427 and 114 of IPC.

  

The Senior Officers in the Production Department, including the Head of Fire & Safety applied for anticipatory bail before the Hon'ble Court. While rejecting the application for anticipatory bail, the hon'ble High Court made the following observations:


"10. Here, it is pertinent to note that the factum of wrongful transfer of the two different chemicals contained in the tankers to the wrong storage chambers came to the notice of the applicants, original accused, at around 1430 hrs. on 02.06.2020. At that very moment, instead of taking necessary corrective measures for neutralizing the chemical reaction, it appears that the applicants did nothing and simply slept over the entire event, as if the applicants were waiting for the tragedy to happen. On 03.06.2020 at around 1200 hrs. on account of a chemical reaction in the storage chamber 'B' containing Nitric Acid, a blast occurred. As a result of the blast, six workers died on the spot and four workers passed away during the course of treatment. In all, 10 persons died and around 77 workers were injured.


11..................The Company is engaged in the business of chemical processing and the applicants herein, who are serving on different technical posts requiring specialized knowledge and expertise to deal with such dangerous chemicals, were required to take immediate corrective measures for neutralizing the effect of the chemical reaction. Instead of taking any corrective measures, the applicants slept over the wrongful act for about 24 hours. If the applicants had taken necessary corrective measures on 02.06.2020 at around 1430 hrs. itself, which is when the wrongful transfer of chemicals came to their knowledge, the tragedy could have been averted and life could have been saved. Hence, in the opinion of this Court, the applicants herein are prima facie guilty of the offence of criminal  negligence leading to culpable homicide. "


Text of the judgment is attached    

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