Testimony stalled for three years

Rana Plaza Collapse Case

Testimony in murder case lodged over tragic collapse of Rana Plaza building, causing death to around 1,200 people on April 24, 2013, is stuck by the stay order issued by High Court (HC) over the proceedings of the trial, reports BSS. Sessions Judge SM Quddus Zaman of Dhaka District on July 18, 2016, framed the charges against the 39 accused in the murder case filed by police over the incident.

“After the indictment, a couple of accused filed appeals with the High Court, challenging the legality of that lower court order. The High Court after that issued a stay order over the proceedings of the case. Accused Savar municipality mayor M Refat Ullah and commissioner of Ward-7 Haji Mohammad Ali filed successful stay order that is still in effect and that is why we have not been able to examine any witnesses in this case for the long three years,” public prosecutor Khandaker Abdul Mannan told the state news agency.

The state counsel, however, hoped that the stay order for these two accused too will be withdrawn soon and the testimony of the witnesses will start in the case. The public prosecutor also said there is no progress either in another case filed for building code violation over the same incident. In the case filed over violation of building codes, Dhaka additional chief judicial magistrate court on June 14, 2016, framed charges against Rana and 17 others.

The trial could not proceed as several revision cases challenging the order for framing charges were pending with two lower courts. When asked about whether a lower court concerned has acquitted Phantom Apparels Limited chairman Mohammad Aminul Islam from the charges in the revision case, public prosecutor Khandaker Abdul Mannan said they have no knowledge about this.
“If he has really been acquitted, we would file appeal against it with the High Court,” he added.

“A couple of accused had filed revision pleas against the charge framing order in the case. Of those pleas, three have been disposed of and Dhaka second additional district and session judge court was scheduled to pass order on rest of the pleas on April 15, but it did not came up with the judgment on that day,” state counsel Anarul Kabir Babul told BSS. Babul further said after the disposal of the revision pleas, the hearing of the case can be started once again. At least 1,136 people, mostly garment workers, were killed and over 2,500 injured in the building collapse on April 24, 2013.

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