A petition seeking judicial inquiry and a CBI probe into the massive fire at Anaj Mandi area of Delhi was filed in the Delhi High Court on Monday. A massive blaze ripped through a four-storey building housing illegal manufacturing units in Anaj Mandi area on December 8, which claimed the lives of 43 people. Many others are still receiving treatment for their burn injuries.
The petition filed by advocate Awadh Kaushik demanded strict guidelines to be framed to ensure that such incidents do not take place in the future.
Kaushik sought judicial inquiry by a retired Delhi High Court judge or investigation by the CBI or any other central investigating agency into the matter to bring the culprits to justice.
"The delinquency, felony and laxity on the part of the authorities concerned is nothing but a criminal offence having been committed by them with common mindset," the plea stated.
The plea further added, "It has been reported that not only was the building illegally constructed but even the manufacturing factory of plastic packing materials was being run therein illegally and without any registration, license, authority, certificate and even fire safety arrangements."
The matter will be heard today by a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Harishankar.
Almost all the deceased in the fire incident were migrant labourers hailing from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
Police and fire department officials said many of the fatalities occurred due to suffocation as the people were sleeping when the fire started at around 5 am on the second floor of the building that did not have fire safety clearance and was packed with combustible material like cardboard boxes, plastic sheets and rexine.
The NDMC Commissioner had also visited the accident site on Monday. North Delhi Mayor Avtar Singh had visited the factory site on Sunday.
Civic authorities had last week "surveyed" the four-storey building housing illegal manufacturing units, where 43 lives were lost in a massive fire on Sunday, but the upper floors were found to be locked due to which the entire structure could not be inspected, official sources had claimed on Sunday.
The building is under Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006 which protects unauthorised construction from being sealed.
"The unit would have been closed by authorities if not found to be permissible as a household unit under provisions of the Master Plan of Delhi," the source had said.