KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday issued a contempt of court notice to the head of the National Forensic Science Authority (NFSA) and the official in charge of the DNA laboratory over their failure to submit a detailed report on the DNA tests conducted to ascertain the identity of the Baldia factory fire victims whose bodies could not be identified.

A two-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar was seized with an application filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, seeking compliance with the court orders issued on March 12 last year regarding the DNA tests of the unidentified bodies prior to their burial.

On Friday, the bench observed that the NFSA project director and the official in charge of the lab did not file requisite report in compliance with its order despite clear instructions.


“... both officials have persistently been violating this court’s order”


During hearing on Friday, the bench observed that despite clear instructions neither official in charge of the DNA lab nor NFSA’s project director filed requisite report in compliance with the its order.

The bench remarked: “It is unfortunate to note that both officials have persistently been violating this court’s order.”

It ordered: “We are, therefore, constrained to issue contempt notice to in-charge DNA lab as well as NFSA’s project director in that regard for next hearing.”

The petition had been filed in the SHC by Piler and others for the formation of a judicial commission that could fix responsibility for the Ali Enterprise factory blaze.

The authorities had declared a total of 259 deaths in the fire that engulfed the Baldia garment factory on Sept 11, 2012. Over 50 firefighters took part in the 18-hour operation and used almost all available machines and equipment to extinguish the fire.

Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2014