KARACHI, Sept 25: The Sindh High Court on Tuesday directed the owners of the gutted garment factory in Baldia Town to file a complete list of their respective properties and assets in court within 10 days.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mushir Alam was seized with as many as five identical petitions seeking a judicial inquiry into the fire incident that claimed lives of over 250 workers on Sept 11.

The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, Rana Faizul Hasan, a civil right campaigner and others filed the petitions for institution of a judicial commission who may fix the responsibility on persons responsible for such an incident and suggest monetary compensation to the legal heirs of the inferno victims.

The petitioners also prayed to the court to restrain the inquiry commission constituted by the provincial government from functioning.

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah was also cited as one of the respondents for the statement of the former industries minister who said that he was stopped by the CM from inspection of factories.

Factory owners of Ali Enterprise Arshad Abdul Aziz and Shahid Abdul Aziz appeared in court and sought time to engage counsel to represent them.

They submitted that their father Abdul Aziz was ill and he could not appear in court.

Petitioner counsel Faisal Siddiqui submitted that banks accounts of respondents had been seized and they may be barred from travelling abroad.

The factory owners submitted that they were on protective bail and their passports were already submitted before the nazir of the court.

They stated that they would not flee the country and contest the proceedings.

The bench observed that the matter was public interest litigation and a large number of people were affected due to the fire incident.

The court directed the provincial government, ministries of labour and industries and other civic agencies to file their respective comments or counter-affidavits on the petitions within two week so that matter would be heard and decided without any delay.

The hearing was adjourned to Oct 10.

Medical college case

A division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar issued notices to the federal secretary of regulations and services division, president of the Pakistan Medical and Dental Council, Dewan Medical and Dental College (DMDC) and the board of directors of the Dewan Farooque Motors Limited (DFML) in a petition against the establishment of the medical institution on the premises of the DFML in Korangi Industrial Area (KIA).

The petition was filed by Dewan Asim Mushfiq Farooqui, a director of the DFML, who alleged in the petition that Dewan Yousuf Farooqi, chairman and chief executive of the Dewan group of companies, attempted to unlawfully and surreptitiously sell the DFML property to the DMDC in terms of oral gift.

He stated that the DFML was the owner and titleholder of 4000-square yard plot No. 30-A/1 in KIA and it could not be sold out by the respondent Dewan, a former provincial minister.

The petitioner, represented by Advocate Haider Waheed, stated that a building for the medical college was constructed on the impugned land and the DMDC was attempting to gain recognition from the official respondents to begin enrolment, admissions and formal functioning of the institution, which was being established in violation of the PMDC Ordinance.

He prayed to the court to permanently restrain the official authorities from granting recognition to the DMDC.

The bench issued notices to the respondents and ordered that the status quo shall be maintained till the next hearing to be later decided by the court’s office.


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