Korangi DC gets pre-arrest bail in Mehran Town factory fire case

Published October 13, 2021
In this file photo, rescue workers search for bodies at the site of a burnt chemical factory, in Karachi, on Aug 27. — AP/File
In this file photo, rescue workers search for bodies at the site of a burnt chemical factory, in Karachi, on Aug 27. — AP/File

KARACHI: A district court on Tuesday granted interim pre-arrest bail to the deputy commissioner of district Korangi in the Mehran Town factory fire case.

Sixteen workers of the ill-fated factory died in the fire allegedly caused by an electric short-circuit in the BM Luggage in Mehran Town, Korangi, on Aug 27.

On Tuesday, Deputy Commissioner Saleemullah Odho and Assistant Commissioner Sajida Ayaz approached the court of the district and sessions judge (East) seeking grant of bail to avoid their arrest in the present case.

The applicants submitted that they were booked in the present case by the investigating officer with malafide intentions, adding while they wanted to join the investigation they apprehended arrest by the police.

They pleaded the court to grant them bail before arrest so that they could join the investigation.

Without touching the merits of the case, District and Sessions Judge Khalid Hussain Shahani granted them bail before arrest subject to furnishing a surety in sum of Rs500,000 each.

While directing them to join the investigation, the judge fixed the matter on Oct 16 for confirmation of their interim bail or otherwise. A notice was issued to the investigating officer of the case to appear along with a police report on the next date.

Initially, factory`s owner Hassan Meetha alias Ali Meetha, its building owner Faisal Tariq, manager Syed Imran Ali Zaidi, supervisors Zafar Ali and Rehan and watchman Zarin Khan were booked for their alleged involvement in the manslaughter case. Later, they were arrested after the court recalled their interim pre-arrest bail.

Last week, the court had issued non-bailable warrants for the arrest of around 12 key officers of provincial departments and civic agencies and utilities after police filed a charge sheet against them for their alleged negligence that led to the death of 16 workers.

The officers facing arrest include labour department officer Muhammad Ali, Karachi Development Authority (KDA) Deputy Director (Land) Irfan Hussain and Executive Engineer Zahid Hussain, Civil Defence Director Safdar Ali and Deputy Controller Shahabuddin.

Two officials of the K-Electric got their arrest warrants suspended by the Sindh High Court in the present case. On Monday, three officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority also got pre-arrest interim bail in the same case.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2021

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