KARACHI, Oct 19: The Sindh High Court on Friday suspended till Nov 1 a sessions court order through which it gave police remand of three suspects allegedly involved in the Baldia Town garment factory inferno case.
The sessions court had allowed an application of the investigation officer of the case seeking custody of the three suspects — Arshad Bhaila, Shahid Bhaila and Mohammad Mansoor — for investigations. The court authorised the police to get the suspects’ custody after sunrise and bring them back to prison before sunset on Oct 19 and Oct 20.
However, Abdullah Idrees, a brother of suspect Mansoor, moved the SHC against the sessions court order submitting that his brother was arrested on Sept 28 and sent to prison on judicial remand on Oct 1.
He said that the judicial remand given by the judicial magistrate was an administrative order and any revision against it was not maintainable.
The petitioner further submitted that he was not allowed to get vakalatnama signed from his brother and expressed serious apprehension that his brother might be tortured or even murdered by the police.
An SHC bench comprising Justice Ghulam Sarwar Korai observed that the points raised by the petitioner required consideration.
The court issued a notice to the prosecutor general, Sindh for Nov 1 and ruled that till then the operation of the sessions court order was suspended.
The owner of the ill-fated industrial unit, Abdul Aziz Bhaila, who is on bail and his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, general manager Mansoor and three gatekeepers have been charge-sheeted in an interim report filed by the IO under Section 173 of the criminal procedure code.
According to the prosecution, over 250 workers were killed in a devastating fire that had engulfed a multi-storey garment factory building in Baldia Town on the evening of Sept 11 within the remit of the Site-B police station.
A case (FIR 343/12) was registered against the factory owners and others under Sections 302 (premeditated murder), 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab), 435 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage etc), 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house, etc), 337 (Shajjah) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code at the Site-B police station.