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Pakistani rescuers and firefighters gather infront of a garment factory that was engulfed in a fire in Karachi. — Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday directed provincial government to expedite process of conducting DNA test of nearly 70 bodies of unidentified people who lost lives in deadly fire in garments factory in Karachi’s Baldia town last month.

A division bench, headed by Justice Maqbool Baqir, also directed all concerned to submit complete details of those killed or injured in the tragedy and provision of monetary compensation to their families.

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER), Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and others non-profit organizations had filed five petitions, seeking judicial inquiry into Karachi factory inferno incident that claimed at least 258 lives and injured many others on September 11, 2012.

Petitioners had sought formation of judicial commission to investigate the reasons behind the fire and suggest monetary compensation to legal heirs of inferno victims.

Today in the SHC, the petitioner’s lawyer Faisal Siddiqui moved a miscellaneous application, submitting that different government departments and private organisations had announced to give monetary compensation to the bereaved families as well as injured.

He prayed to call complete details from the provincial government to see that whether the compensation, announced by the government departments and private bodies, have been given to the victims’ families and the survivors or not.

He also stated that nearly 70 bodies of people deceased in the tragedy could still not be unidentified. He pleaded the SHC to issue direction to the pertinent government departments to speed up process of carrying out DNA tests to determine identity of the victims.

Allowing the plea, SHC division bench directed the provincial government to provide within 10 days complete details of the victims and survivors of tragedy and further details of compensation, if paid, to anyone of them.

The court further directed to expedite process of DNA testing to determine identity of unidentified victims and submit report on next date of hearing.

SHC on September 25, 2012 had also directed the factory owners Abdul Aziz Bhaila, his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila to submit record of their assets and properties in court.