Baldia Factory Fire: SHC rejects plea against video link testimony of owners

Karachi (HRNW): The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday turned down a plea of Baldia factory fire case accused Rehman Bhola challenging permission of video link testimony to the factory owners,  A bench of the high court ordered recording statement of factory owners Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila via video link from Dubai. “It is an extremely dangerous case and it is necessary to provide protection to the witnesses in the case,” Justice Salahuddin Panhwar observed. “Everyone know the plight of complainant of a case in the country,” Justice Panhwar remarked. “Everyone can request for recording testimony via video link in a murder case,” the Justice further said.

Earlier, Special Public Prosecutor informed the bench that factory owners Shahid Bhaila and Arshad Bhaila had left the country in year 2014 and could not return due to threat to their lives. Anti Terrorism Court had granted plea of the factory owners to testify before the court via video link from Dubai. Accused Rehman Bhola challenged the ATC’s permission to factory owners in the high court. Rehman Bhola’s lawyer had argued that the law and order situation has improved in city and the factory owners should arrive here to record their statements in court. Deputy Attorney General (DAG) in his arguments pleaded to the court to reject the plea against factory owners’ video link testimony.

The blaze at Ali Enterprises factory in Baldia Town of Karachi on September 11, 2012, had killed at least 258 people in one of Pakistan’s worst industrial disasters. The case took a new turn in February 2015 when Pakistan Rangers, Sindh, submitted a joint investigation team (JIT) report in the Sindh High Court (SHC), which revealed that the factory was set on fire after its owners failed to pay protection money.

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