Karachi: 2 owners of fire-hit factory sent to jail
KARACHI: The police arrested Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, sons of the owner of the fire–wrecked factory, after their pre–arrest bail applications were rejected by a sessions court on Saturday. Later they were remanded in judicial custody by a judicial magistrate (West). Their father, Abdul Aziz Bhaila, brought to the court in a wheelchair, was however granted pre–arrest bail on health grounds. Abdul Aziz Bhaila and his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, booked on a number of charges, including premeditated murder, through a panel of counsel had moved pre-arrest bail applications. On a previous hearing, the court had granted interim bail to the owners of the ill-fated industrial unit against a surety bond of Rs1million each and directed them to appear on Oct 6 for the confirmation or otherwise of the bails.
After hearing arguments from both sides, additional district and sessions judge (west) Abdullah Channa confirmed the interim pre-arrest bail of Abdul Aziz Bhaila on medical grounds and turned down the applications of his sons.
Earlier, the court heard arguments from the prosecutor, lawyers for the complainant side and the defence counsel while investigating officials briefed the court on the progress in the investigation of the case.
A court official said the court had considered the age and health factors while confirming the plea of 75–year–old Abdul Aziz Bhaila.
The police arrested both suspects outside the courtroom shortly after the dismissal of their bail applications.
On Oct 1, the owners of the fire–struck industrial unit had surrendered themselves before the trial court on the last day of their protective bail granted by a single bench of the Larkana circuit of the Sindh High Court on Sept 14 and extended by the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi bench.
A devastating fire, which engulfed the multi–storey factory building in Baldia Town on the evening of Sept 11, had left over 250 workers dead.
Meanwhile, the court also dismissed the post–arrest bail applications of two other suspects in the factory inferno case.
Mansoor, a general manager of the guttered industrial unit, and gatekeeper Arshad Mehmood had moved bail applications through their lawyers. However, the court turned down the applications after hearing arguments from both sides.
Mansoor and gatekeepers Fazal Ahmed, Arshad Mehmood and Ali Mohammad were in jail custody.
The police had picked up two other employees of the factory, Hanif and Mohammad Majid. However, they were released since the investigating officer in the interim charge-sheet stated that no concrete evidence was found against the suspects to link them with the present case.
A case (FIR 343/12) was registered against the factory owners and others under Sections 302 (punishment for premeditated murder), 322 (punishment for qatl-bis-sabab (when a person dies as a result of injury from something which is neither a weapon nor like a weapon)), 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.