SHC turns down bail of Zubair Charya in Baldia factory fire case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday rejected the bail application of Zubair alias Charya, one of key suspects in Baldia factory fire case and directed the Anti-Terrorism Court to speed up the trial of deadly fire case.

Zubair, through his counsel approached the high court after ATC had turned down his bail plea. The counsel representing Zubair submitted that it has been more than five years since the Ali Enterprises garments factory was set ablaze in Baldia Town but the prosecution had failed to submit any concrete evidence against the accused. The lawyer argued that the prosecution had failed to establish that Zubair was amongst those who set the factory on fire.

The counsel told the judges that Zubair was innocent and falsely implicated in the case, following the statement of another accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola. The court was requested to approve Charya’s application and release him on bail.

On the other hand, the prosecutor reminded that the trial court had already dismissed his bail plea. The ATC had also rejected the bail application of another accused Abdul Rehman alias Bhola who was held by the Interpol and Crime Suppression Division of the Thailand police in December 2016 in Bangkok after his red warrant was issued by the Pakistani authorities on court orders.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, defense and prosecution, the SHC threw out the application and directed the trial court to decide the case at the earliest.

It may be noted the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan lawmaker Rauf Siddiqui, who at that time was the minister of industries and trade in Sindh, was also made a part of the investigation of the case by the trial court.

In the case, only two suspects, Abdul Rehman alias Bhola and Zubair alias Charya, were in custody whereas Hammad Siddiqui, the head of the MQM’s Karachi Tanzimi Committee (KTC) and said to be prime culprit behind the inferno, is still on the run.

The Pak Sarzameen Party president Anis Kaimkhani, factory owner Abdul Aziz Bhaila, his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, have now been relieved of the charges.