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KARACHI, Oct 8: The Sindh High Court on Monday directed the provincial government to expedite the process of conducting DNA tests of nearly 70 bodies of unidentified persons who lost their lives in a devastating fire in a garment factory in Baldia Town last month.

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

The Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and other non-profit organisations had filed five petitions seeking a judicial inquiry into the Baldia Town factory inferno that claimed lives of over 250 workers on Sept 11.

The petitioners had sought the constitution of a judicial commission to fix responsibility for the incident and suggest monetary compensation to legal heirs of the inferno victims.

Petitioners’ counsel Faisal Siddiqui moved a miscellaneous application in court on Monday, submitting that different government departments and private organisations had announced compensation for the bereaved families and the injured.

He prayed to the court to call complete details from the provincial government that how many government departments or private bodies had announced compensation and who had so far given such compensation to the victims’ families and the injured.

He also stated that nearly 70 bodies could not be identified yet and therefore a direction should be issued to the government to speed up the process of carrying out DNA tests to determine the identity of the victims.

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

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

On Sept 25, the court had also directed factory owner Abdul Aziz Bhaila and his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila to submit the record of their assets and properties in court.—PPI