The Andhra Pradesh state high court on Tuesday stayed the arrest of Dr Ramesh Pothineni, the owner of Ramesh Hospital, who had allegedly been held responsible for Swarna Palace hotel fire on August 9 that killed 10 people.
Apart from Ramesh Babu, the high court also granted stay on the arrest of Ramesh Hospital chairman Seetharama Mohana Rao. Both Ramesh and Rammohan Rao had been absconding since the fire mishap.
However, but the eighth district additional court refused to grant bail to three executives of the hospital – Dr Kodali Rajagopal Rao, Dr Kurapati Sudershan and Pallaboth Venkatesh, who were directly accused in the hotel fire accident.
The magistrate Anjaneya Murthy said bail cannot be granted since the case was still under investigation. The three accused are expected to file the bail petition in the high court on Wednesday.
The high court asked the government advocate whether the authorities had made district collector, Vijayawada sub-collector and district medical and health officer responsible for the tragedy as they had granted the permissions for running of the Covid care centre in the hotel.
Counsel for Ramesh Babu and Seetharama Mohan Rao, who filed separate quash petitions for them in the high court, argued that the fire mishap had taken place in the hotel, for which the hotel management should be held responsible.
He said the hospital had obtained all permissions to run Covid care centre at the hotel.
The counsel also brought to the court’s notice that the government had run a similar Covid care centre for people coming from abroad, before the Ramesh Hospital began to operate there.
They further pointed out that the hotel had been in existence for more than three decades.
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