Delhi HC takes suo motu cognisance of Mukherjee Nagar fire incident

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Fire Service, Police and Municipal Corporation of Delhi in the Mukherjee Nagar fire incident, which took place after a fire broke out at the Sanskriti Coaching Centre.

A vacation bench of Justices Jasmeet Singh and Vikas Mahajan directed the Delhi Fire Service to conduct a fire safety audit and to check whether fire safety certificates were issued or not and sought a response within two weeks, in the suo motu case.

The incident at the coaching centre on Thursday has left 61 students injured.

Meanwhile, the court has asked the authorities to examine the safety status of similar institutes in the national capital.

“Issue notice.. counsel for Delhi Police and Delhi Fire Services will place their respective stands within two weeks from today,” the court said.

Delhi government standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi said the safety of students cannot be compromised.

It was further directed that the matter be posted before a bench headed by the high court chief justice Satish Chandra Sharma on July 3.

Last evening, scores of students from various coaching centres had staged a protest and blocked the road, raising slogans and holding posters demanding justice.

Chanting ‘Vande Mataram’, scores of students, who are preparing for UPSC, SSC and other competitive examinations, sat on the road demanding justice.

The CEO of Sanskriti Coaching Centre, Shivesh Mishra, has claimed that the fire did not break out inside the coaching centre.

“It is being reported that there was a blast in the metre box on the ground floor, and the smoke went up from below. During the incident, the students got scared. All of them have been rescued. Some students attempted to escape with the help of wires. Two of them have been seriously injured,” Mishra said.

Sharing the details about the incident, a police officer said that a PCR call was received at the Mukherjee Nagar police station regarding fire inside the Bhandari House building near Batra Complex, following which a police team was rushed to the spot.

“The rescue work commenced immediately. About 10 fire tenders and 16 CAT ambulances also reached there,” said the officer.

“The fire was extinguished and the students from the first and second floors were rescued,” he said.

“The place of occurrence was inspected and photographed by the district crime team. The place of occurrence was also inspected by the forensic team from Rohini. Around 200-250 students of different coaching centres were attending classes at the time of incident,” said the officer.

As per the police, the preliminary inquiry revealed that there was fire in the electric meters installed on the ground floor of the building.

“A case under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code has been registered,” the officer added.

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