KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Monday threw out the bail application of Zubair, alias Charya, one of the accused in the Baldia factory fire case.

Dismissing the bail plea, a two-judge bench also directed an antiterrorism court to conclude the trial of the deadly fire case expeditiously.

Accused Zubair, through his counsel, approached the high court after the ATC had turned down his bail application.

His counsel submitted that it had been more than five years since the Ali Enterprises garments factory inferno, but the prosecution had failed to submit any concrete evidence against the accused.

He contended that the prosecution had failed to establish that Zubair was amongst those who had set the factory on fire.

He further submitted that Zubair was innocent and falsely implicated in the case following the statement of another accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola.

The counsel asked the court to approve Zubair’s application and release him on bail.

Opposing the bail application, the prosecutor submitted that the trial court had already dismissed his bail plea. The ATC had also rejected the bail application of Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, who was held by Interpol and Crime Suppression Division of the Thailand police in December 2016 in Bangkok after his red warrant was issued by the Pakistani authorities on court orders.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, the bench dismissed the application and directed the trial court to decide the case at the earliest.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui, who at that time was the Sindh minister of industries, was also made a part of the investigation of the case by the trial court.

Only Zubair and Abdul Rehman are in custody, whereas Hammad Siddiqui, the head of the MQM’s Karachi Tanzimi Committee (KTC), was still on the run.

PSP President Anis Kaimkhani, factory owners Abdul Aziz Bhaila, his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, have now been relieved of the charges.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2018

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