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Legal Minds

5 April 2016 / by / in

Arrests Follow Kolkata Flyover Collapse

On 31 March a section of the Vivekananda Road flyover under construction in the Indian city of Kolkata collapsed killing over 20 people and injuring many more.

Since the incident the police have been investigating the Hyderabad-based construction firm IVRCL in charge of building the flyover. A case of culpable homicide has been registered against the company by the police. IVRCL has denied liability and a company representative has described the collapse as an ‘act of God’.

A number of senior people have also been arrested. These include the Director of Operations, the Assistant General Manager and two senior engineers responsible for supervision of the works who were present at the site where the collapse occurred when the casting of concrete was laid. The police are reported to be considering offences such as murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.

This approach is an example of the growing trend of regulators worldwide to consider the possible criminal wrongdoing of senior individuals of corporations when things go wrong.

In January last year an American prosecutor Sung-Hee Suh, addressing a conference on securities regulation in Europe said:

“…..corporations do not act criminally, but for the actions of individuals…..the Criminal Division intends to prosecute those individuals, whether they are sitting on a sales desk or in a corporate suite.”

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