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March 22, 2020

Owner’s remand extended, SBCA officials granted bail

Karachi

March 22, 2020

A judicial magistrate on Saturday extended for three days the remand of the builder of a multi-storey building in Golimar which collapsed earlier this month, killing 27 and wounding around two dozen people.

The Central district judicial magistrate directed the police to produce the suspect, Javed, again in court on March 24 along with the progress report regarding the investigation. The investigation officer told the court that the suspect was taking advantage of his blindness and not cooperating with the police to identify officials of the Sindh Building Control Authority who were involved with him in the illegal construction business.

The five-storey building had collapsed on March 5. A case was registered under sections 322 (manslaughter), 119 (public servant concealing design to commit offence which it is his duty to prevent), 337-H (punishment for hurt by rash or negligent act), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 109 (abetment) and 34 (common intention) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

The police had registered the FIR, on behalf of the state, against the builder and officials of the SBCA.

Javed, according to the investigation officer, had revealed the names of the other SBCA officials involved in the illegal construction.

The IO added that the director-general of the SBCA has been intimated about the involvement of the named officers and their arrests would be made accordingly.

Builder Javed, his accomplices Hanif and Younus, and SBCA officials Sarfaraz Jamali, Irfan Ali and Mansoor Qureshi have been accused of manslaughter and mischief.

According to the prosecution, the building was constructed illegally in connivance with the SBCA officials, who approved the plan against kickbacks and deliberately ignored the flaws in its structure, which proved devastating later.

Meanwhile, a district and sessions court of Central granted bail to the SBCA officials against sureties of Rs500,000 each.