Bail before arrest of Sepa official rejected in Mehran factory fire case – Journal

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KARACHI: A sessional court on Monday rejected a request filed by a senior official with the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) asking for bail before arrest in the case of the fire at the Mehran factory.

The deputy director of Sepa, Muhammad Kamran Khan, moved the district and courtroom (East) but the judge rejected his request for release on bail before his arrest.

The official requested bail before the arrest because recently a judicial magistrate ordered the investigator in charge of the case to file an additional indictment against him, a general manager of K-Electric, director of the Karachi Civil Defense, Executive Engineer of the Karachi Development Authority. (KDA), administrator and deputy commissioner of the district of Korangi and responsible for the fire brigade.

The magistrate noted that the person in charge of Sepa had not carried out the inspection of the building, where the operations of the plant had started without an initial environmental examination (IEE) or an environmental impact study ( EIA).

The fire, believed to have been caused by an electrical short, engulfed the industrial unit, M / s BM Luggage, in the town of Mehran on August 27, killing 16 workers.

Initially, the police convicted factory owner Hassan Meetha alias Ali Meetha, his building owner Faisal Tariq, manager Syed Imran Ali Zaidi, supervisors Zafar and Rehan and guard Syed Zarin for their alleged involvement in the fire.

The court also adjourned the hearing until Oct. 7 on their bail requests after the arrest.

On September 25, the IM filed a final investigation report holding responsible a deputy director of the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA), Abdul Sami, the deputy director-KDA (Land) Irfan Hussain, the deputy controller of the civil defense Shahabuddin and labor official Mohammad Ali. for the unfortunate incident.

The IM maintained that the factory was operating on residential land and that no action was taken by the relevant officers of SBCA, KDA, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, Civil Defense, as they did not have not carried out any inspections or raided the premises in question.

He recommended to the court to invoke Article 119 (official concealing the intention to commit an offense which it is his duty to prevent) of the Pakistani penal code against the officials.

However, the judge pointed out that the OI had deliberately and awkwardly omitted the names of the director of Civil Defense Safdar Ali Bhugio, director general and responsible for the new connections of KE, DC-Korangi, executive engineer of the KDA Zahid Hussain, deputy director by Sepa. Muhammad Kamran Khan, the fire chief Ishtiaq Ahmed and the administrator of the Korangi district of the indictment.

A case was registered under Articles 322 (manslaughter) and 34 (common intent) of the Pakistani Penal Code at the Korangi Industrial Zone Police Station on behalf of the state through SHO Mohammad Tariq Arain.

Posted in Dawn, le 5 October 2021


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