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Builder, others get pre-arrest bail in six labourers’ death case

Updated March 13, 2019

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The under-construction high­-­rise in Clifton’s Block 7 from where the six labourers fell .— DawnNewsTV
The under-construction high­-­rise in Clifton’s Block 7 from where the six labourers fell .— DawnNewsTV

KARACHI: A sessions court on Tuesday granted interim pre-arrest bail to five suspects, including owners of an under-construction building from where six labourers fell and died allegedly after the lift buckled.

Police have booked the owner, Mohammed Amin Patel, his partners Moosa Iqbal of the contractor engineering firm (Alaf Engineering), Irfan Rehman of the contractor firm of glasses/lift provider (Ammonium Glass), builder Mohammad Iqbal, Abdul Aziz Memon, Ameer Ali and Mohammad Munir Memon in the case.

Six labourers — Mohammed Asad, Faisal Islam, Nasir Shamshad, Musab, Abdul Rehman and his brother Riaz Khan — fell from the 13th floor of the under-construction high­-­rise in Clifton’s Block 7 on March 9 while installing glass panels with the help of a lift fitted with a trolley when its rope broke.

On Monday, five of the six suspects moved their pre-arrest bail applications before Additional District and Sessions Judge (South) Mukesh Kumar.

The sixth suspect, Irfan Rehman, had already been in custody.

Their counsel submitted that the police booked their clients in the present case registered under Sections 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab, or manslaughter) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code, which both are bailable offences.

They submitted that the applicants wanted to surrender before the trial court, but they apprehended their arrest by the police.

The counsel requested the court to admit the applicants of bail before arrest to enable them to surrender before the court concerned and join investigations.

After hearing arguments from the prosecutor, the judge granted interim pre-arrest bail to the applicants against a surety bond of Rs100,000 each till March 16.

They were directed to appear on the next date for confirmation of their interim bail or otherwise.

The court also issued a notice to the investigating officer of the case with a direction to appear along with police papers on the next date.

According to contents of the FIR, precious human lives were lost due to “substandard material and lack of precautions and safety measures and refusal of treatment and negligence” of the suspects.

The complainant, Sub-Inspector Mohammad Riaz, stated that they were on routine patrol in the area when they heard cries of workers from the 13th floor of the under-construction building as the lift twisted and they fell to the ground. He said that he and other policemen rushed to the spot and saw that three workers had already died while three others were lying injured.

As police shifted the bodies and injured to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, doctors declared five workers dead on arrival while the sixth one died during treatment.

A case under Sections 322 and 34 (common intention) of the PPC was registered against the building owners, contractor of glasses and lift provider on behalf of the state at the Boat Basin police station.

Published in Dawn, March 13th, 2019