Earlier in January police withdrew charges of premeditated murder in a supplementary charge-sheet filed in court. - File photo
Earlier in January police withdrew charges of premeditated murder in a supplementary charge-sheet filed in court. - PPI (File photo)

KARACHI:The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday released Baldia factory owners, Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila, a lawyer representing the men said.

“The court ordered the owners to deposit one million rupees ($10,000) each and the three employees to deposit 200,000 rupees each to get bail,” said lawyer Aamir Raza Naqvi.

The owners of the Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town, Karachi, who made ready-to-wear garments for Western stores, were charged in the wake of last September's blaze. Claiming the lives of more than 250 workers, Baldia fire is one of the worst industrial accidents in Pakistan's history.

Earlier in January police withdrew charges of premeditated murder in a supplementary charge-sheet filed in court. The police, however, filed a new investigation report charging Bhaila with negligence but not murder, Naqvi said.

Several labour rights organisations last month challenged an order attributed to Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf asking the police to drop murder charges against the owners.

A division bench of the SHC summoned a top aide to the prime minister to appear before the court on February 14.