Mumbai Hoarding Tragedy: Court Extends Police Custody of Ad Firm Director Bhavesh Bhinde

A Mumbai court has extended the police custody of Bhavesh Bhinde, the director of M/S Ego Media Pvt Ltd, until May 29. This decision follows the catastrophic collapse of a hoarding installed by his firm in the Ghatkopar area, resulting in 17 fatalities.

The incident occurred during a dust storm and rains on May 13, causing the massive hoarding to fall onto a nearby petrol pump. Following the tragedy, Bhinde went missing and was later charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 of the Indian Penal Code. He was apprehended in Udaipur, Rajasthan, on May 16 and was brought back to Mumbai for legal proceedings.

Initially held in custody until May 26, Bhinde was again presented before the metropolitan magistrate court by the crime branch, which is handling the investigation. The police requested an extension of his custody to further investigate not only the incident in question but also other hoardings the firm has installed throughout the city. They are also examining the financial transactions related to the firm’s installation of billboards.

Advocate Rizwan Merchant, representing Bhinde, argued that the FIR pertained only to the collapsed hoarding and opposed the extension. However, after considering both arguments, the court decided to extend Bhinde’s custody to facilitate ongoing investigations into the broader activities of his firm and the specific circumstances leading to the tragic accident.

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