Order reserved on bail pleas of Mehran Town factory owners, workers

Published October 19, 2021
A team of firefighters extinguish the fire at the chemical factory. — APP/File
A team of firefighters extinguish the fire at the chemical factory. — APP/File

KARACHI: A district and sessions judge reserved on Monday his order the bail applications of owners and four officials of a Mehran Town factory whose 16 workers had died in a fire in Korangi.

The fire allegedly caused by an electric short-circuit engulfed the industrial unit, BM Luggage, on Aug 27 killing the 16 workers.

Factory’s owner Hassan Meetha alias Ali Meetha, its building’s owner Faisal Tariq, manager Syed Imran Ali Zaidi, supervisors Zafar and Rehan and watchman Syed Zarin have been booked for their alleged involvement in the incident.

Police had arrested the watchman and later arrested Meetha, Tariq and Zaidi after district and sessions judge (East) had revoked interim pre-arrest bail granted to them on Aug 30. Later, they moved applications seeking grant of bail after arrest.

On Monday, the judge took up post-arrest bail applications of six detained suspects for hearing arguments from the prosecution and defence.

During the hearing, defence counsel Hassan Sabir also filed applications supported by affidavits signed by the legal heirs of the victims, who had gave their consent and said they had no objection to the grant of post-arrest bail to the interned factory owners and management officials.

He pleaded to the court to grant them bail in the light of the consent given by the families of deceased workers.

However, the court questioned the legal value of such ‘consent’ purportedly given by the affected persons to the grant of post-arrest bail to the suspects.

The judge observed: “In the present case the state itself is the complainant against the suspects.”

On the other hand, the state prosecutor opposed the applications for grant of post-arrest bail to the applicants arguing that the court had already recalled their interim bail since the matter needed further inquiry and the offence alleged to have been committed was of serious nature as the incident claimed lives of 16 innocent people.

He also opposed the affidavits submitted by some of the affectees giving their consent arguing that the same had no legal value at this stage. He pleaded the court to dismiss the pleas.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the judge reserved the order on the applications to be pronounced on Oct 22.

Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2021

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