KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has issued a written order pertaining to appeals in the Baldia tragedy case. Within this order, it has been asserted that the likelihood of the decision to set the factory on fire being made without the approval of the MQM leadership is minimal.
In its written judgment on the Baldia tragedy case, the Sindh High Court has shed light on a notably subpar and flawed investigation. Criticism has also been directed towards the police for their failure to address extortion concerns.
The court’s verdict highlights that the investigation commission failed to conduct expert chemical analysis to ascertain the cause of the fire and neglected to take necessary measures to prevent similar incidents.
The court’s decision underscores that the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) led by Rizwan Qureshi presented itself before the Sindh High Court with a delay of three years. Without the emergence of this report, there was a risk that the actual culprits might have evaded justice. The police’s inadequate investigation, coupled with allegations, is seen as a dereliction of their duty.
In its ruling, the court has mandated that all factory owners in Karachi must strictly adhere to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) related to fire safety.
The court’s verdict also mentions that meetings with members of the Karachi Organizational Coordination Committee persisted at Nine Zero, the MQM headquarters. This raises questions about whether the decision to set the factory ablaze was made without the MQM leadership’s approval—a crucial aspect that was disregarded.
The court has officially declared Hamad Siddiqui a fugitive criminal who has eluded authorities abroad for a decade without being repatriated to the country.
The court has called for a report detailing the efforts made to bring Hamad Siddiqui back. Moreover, it has instructed the Home Secretary and the Inspector General to personally appear with this report. They are expected to either appear in person or delegate the report through senior officers on September 18.
Additionally, the court has directed the Sindh government to conduct inspections of all factories.