Bhinde was fined more than 100 times before Ghatkopar hoarding crash: police

Mumbai Police Crime Branch team brings Bhavesh Bhinde (in black cloth), an accused in the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse case, from Udaipur, at the Mumbai Airport on Thursday late night, May 16, 2024.
Mumbai Police Crime Branch team brings Bhavesh Bhinde (in black cloth), an accused in the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse case, from Udaipur, at the Mumbai Airport on Thursday late night, May 16, 2024.

Mumbai | Bhavesh Bhinde, arrested after the Ghatkopar hoarding crash which claimed 17 lives, had been fined by the civic body at least 100 times in the past for violation of norms, police probe has found.

He was the director of advertising agency Ego Media which had installed the giant illegal hoarding that crashed on a petrol pump in suburban Ghatkopar during a dust storm on May 13.

The crime branch of Mumbai Police, which is probing the case, found that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had issued him more than 100 notices for putting up illegal hoardings or violating norms concerning their size and other parameters, and imposed fine on him, an official said on Thursday.

As he was blacklisted by some civic agencies, it is suspected that he began to operate through a company not registered in his name.

Apart from the Ghatkopar case where he was booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, Bhinde had six cases including a rape case registered against him -- four at Mulund police station and two in Santacruz, the crime branch official said.

"We are collecting details from the civic body of the notices issued to Bhinde and penalties imposed on him," he added.

Bhinde was in the hoarding business since 1998, as per the probe.

On the run after the May 13 tragedy, he was arrested from Udaipur, and has been remanded in police custody till May 26.

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