The Gummidipoondi Sipcot police, who found that the lift was erected illegally and was not part of the building plan, booked Jayapriya, manager D Thirunavukarasu, 32, lift in-charge S Kakkan, 23, and supervisor B Venkatesan, 40, for culpable homicide. not amounting to murder. While Jayapriya is absconding, the others have been nabbed.
Around 8pm on Friday, Seethan, a temporary catering firm employee, boarded the lift at JFN Marriage Hall with two colleagues from the 3rd floor to the ground. The cable snapped and the car fell. Sheetal suffered injuries to the head and was declared dead in hospital. Two others were injured.
“It (lift) was not part of the government-approved building plan and was functioning illegally since 2015. It did not have a door and was supported by a mere wooden plank, surrounded by plastic sheets,” said a police officer. Its capacity was 350kg, but nearly 1 tonne of food items (in drums) were on the lift floor at the time, he added.
According to TN Town and Country Planning Act, 1971, local bodies are empowered (Section 56 and 57) to act on deviations from approved housing plans by either demolishing illegal structures or issuing a lock & seal notice to the owners. In this case, the Gummidipoondi Town Panchayat ignored the violations for more than seven years.
Despite attempts, R Selvaraj, commissioner, town panchayat department, could not be reached for comments.