Baldia fire: SHC seeks prosecution, police comments on Siddiqui’ plea

KARACHI: The Sindh high Court (SHC) on Tuesday sought comments from the provincial prosecutor general and investigating officer of the Baldia factory fire case on

Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM) lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui’s plea against the Anti-Terrorism Court’s (ATC) verdict of making him a part of the investigation of deadly inferno.

The trial court on Jan 06, while granting the prosecution’s request, made Siddiqui who was serving as the minister of industries and trade in Sindh at that time, a part of the investigation and asked him to cooperate with the police.

The special public prosecutor had maintained that the MQM leader was not implicated as the accused in the case despite the fact that there were sufficient evidences against him.

The MQM-P leader submitted that the supplementary charge sheet (challan) submitted with the ATC’s administrative judge had cleared him as nothing was found illegal against him. He added that the administrative judge had accepted that charge sheet in which he was found innocent.

Siddiqui prayed to the court to set aside the trial court decision and relieve him from the charges.

Issuing notices to the prosecutor general and investigating officer, the bench headed by Justice Naimatullah Phulpoto sought their respectively replies by February 01.

Siddiqui’s name came into light after the statement of Abdul Rehman alias Bhola, the prime suspect arrested from Bangkok through the Interpol, saying that Siddqui had got the case registered against the factory owners. “The MQM leader had got Rs 40 to 50 million to withdraw the case against the factory owners,” Bhola was quoted as telling to police in the charge sheet; however, he had now retracted from his earlier confession.

At least 259 people were burnt alive in the fire at Ali Enterprises garments factory in Baldia Town, Karachi on September 11, 2012. It was one of the worst industrial inferno incidents in Pakistan’s history.

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