The bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Ashutosh Shastri issued the order on the first day of court proceedings after the Diwali break, taking cognisance of a TOI report published the morning after the catastrophe.
“One of us (Chief Justice Kumar) had directed the registry to register the news report as a PIL…On account of courts being closed due to the Diwali vacation, telephonic instructions were issued to the registrar judicial to treat the said article as a suo moto PIL by registering it accordingly,” the order reads.
After two minutes of silence in memory of the victims, the bench told advocate general Kamal Trivedi, “It is very disheartening that we are starting the (Gujarati) New Year with this, but we want some action at your end.” The AG submitted that the state government had already taken a couple of steps, which he would highlight in his submissions.
The court named six parties as respondents in this case — the state government through the chief secretary, the state home department, the commissioners of municipalities, the chief officer of Morbi Nagar Palika, the district collector and the human rights commission. The judges sought a status report from the chief secretary and home secretary along with the rights commission, besides ordering that the notice be sent through a special messenger to the commissioner to file a report on the collapse.