SHC wants legislation to prevent incidents like Mehran Town, Baldia factory fire

Maqbool Ahmed

03rd Sep, 2021. 05:53 pm
SHC petition of govt employees

KARACHI: Sindh High Court (SHC) Chief Justice Ahmed Ali Sheikh remarked on Friday that there is a need for effective legislation and strict implementation rather than emotions to prevent infernos like the one at Baldia Town and Mehran Town.

The SHC CJ issued the remarks while hearing a petition seeking a high-power inquiry into the Mehran Town factory fire.

At the very outset of the hearing, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) counsel informed the two-member bench that the Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) had not obtained a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the body for the construction of the factory.

The counsel informed the court that seeking permission from KMC, before issuing a layout plan for the construction of a building for industrial purpose, within Karachi Division is a statutory requirement. He alleged that the SBCA routinely skips the process.

Meanwhile, petitioner Nadeem Sheikh, who was pleading his case in person, claimed before the court that the factories in the residential area could not have been built without the SBCA’s collusion.

At that point, the SHC CJ observed that accusation and emotions aside, effective legislation and strict implementation is required for preventing such incidents in the future.

The court after briefly hearing the arguments issued notices to home secretary Sindh and other respondents. He also directed the KMC, SBCA and others to submit reports before the next hearing on September 29.

Petition filed in SHC for raise in compensation amount for Mehran Town factory victims

Earlier this week, Sheikh had approached the SHC to register a case and seek an increase in the compensation amount for families that lost their loved ones in the inferno at a factory in the Mehran Town area of Karachi’s Korangi.

The petitioner has prayed before the court to order an impartial, just and fair investigation in the matter by appointing an ‘honest’ investigation officer who is not below the rank of senior superintendent of police (SSP).

The plea also urges the court to direct police to include sections 302 and 307 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). It also appealed the court to direct the government to increase the compensation amount for victims’ families from Rs1 million to Rs5 million.

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