Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court, on 25 August, issued an interim order stalling criminal proceedings against Dr. P. Ramesh accused in the Swarna Palace Hotel fire mishap. Ten people had died after a fire broke out at the hotel that had been converted into a makeshift COVID-19 care centre.

The High Court asked the Vijayawada police whether the officials who gave permission to Dr. Ramesh Hospitals to run a COVID care centre at the hotel were also made accused in the case. The counsel for the petitioner argued that the facility was started after obtaining all permission from the Krishna district administration. The court said that the officials were also at fault here and should be held responsible for the incident.

After hearing the arguments of both the parties, the High Court stayed the arrest warrant against Dr. Ramesh.

A fire broke out at the Swarna Palace Hotel in Vijayawada in the early hours of 9 August. Ten people were killed in the fire while 20 others were rescued by fire service personnel. The hotel had not complied with proper safety standards, the officials had claimed. The incident is currently under investigation, many people have been arrested and are being prosecuted.

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