Police drop murder charges against factory owners

Comment on this story
iol pic wld pakistan -disaster -fire AFP Pakistani women grieve as they wait at the EDHI Morgue to identify their relatives who died in a garment factory fire in Karachi on September 14, 2012.

Karachi - Pakistani police have moved to drop murder charges against the owners of a garment factory where 289 workers were killed in a fire last year, the mens' lawyer said on Monday.

The owners of the Ali Enterprises factory in Karachi, which made ready-to-wear garments for Western stores, were charged in the wake of last September's blaze, which was one of the worst industrial accidents in Pakistan's history.

But police have now filed a new investigation report charging Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila with negligence but not murder, lawyer Aamir Raza Naqvi said. Police confirmed the move.

A court is expected rule on whether to accept the new charges on Saturday.

Naqvi said that in a separate application, the Sindh provincial high court released the owners on bail.

“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,” he 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 Sindh high court summoned a top aide to the prime minister to appear before the court on February 14. - AFP

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines