KARACHI, Jan 5: A sessions court on Saturday set Jan 19 as the date for framing charges against owners and officials of a garment factory in Baldia Town, where a devastating fire had claimed the lives of over 250 workers.

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 the case.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (west) Abdullah Channa supplied copies to the suspects under Section 265-C (supply of statements and docu-ments to accused) of the criminal procedure code and adjourned the hea-ring till Jan 19 for indictment.

Meanwhile, the same court also extended the interim pre-arrest bail of the managing director of the SITE limited, Abdul Rasheed Solangi, director of the labour department Zahid Gulzar Shaikh, additional controller civil defence Ghulam Akbar and chief inspector, electrical Amjad Ali till the next hearing.

On Nov 14, a judicial magistrate had declared the abovementioned officials as accused for their alleged negligence in the factory inferno case.

However, the investigation officer of the case had not yet submitted a final charge-sheet against them.

A devastating fire had engulfed the multi-storey garment factory building in Baldia Town on Sept 11, leaving over 250 workers dead.

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.

Land-grabber jailed for five years

A sessions court sentenced on Saturday a man to five-year imprisonment in a land grabbing case.

The court found Fazal-ur-Rehman guilty of unlaw-fully occupying the plot of complainant Akhtar Hussain in 2007 in Korangi Township.

Additional District and Sessions Judge (east) Amina Nazeer Ansari pronounced her verdict after hearing both sides.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs30,000 and in case of non-payment the convict would have to undergo an additional three-month imprisonment.

The court acquitted a co-accused, Fazal Wahab, for want of evidence.

The victim filed a direct complaint against the accused under Section 3/4 of the Illegal Dispossession Act, 2005.