Judicial Magistrate Saeed Rafique has remanded the three owners of Orient Labs in the custody of the Anti Corruption Establishment for three days to investigate allegations that they reopened a factory that had been sealed and which later collapsed, killing 26 workers.
ACE officials produced Orient Labs Chief Executive Zaheer Iqbal and Directors Zafar Iqbal and Zubair Iqbal, who are brothers, before the magistrate on Saturday seeking to hold them for 10 days. The magistrate gave them three days.
The ACE officers said that the accused had, with the connivance of corrupt officials, broken the locks on the sealed factory and reopened it. They said they had found the broken locks.
They were also trying to find out which officials had helped them.
The Orient Labs factory in Kharak on Multan Road collapsed in February after an apparent boiler explosion, killing 26 people.
The brothers are also being tried in a separate case regarding the factory collapse before Additional District and Sessions Judge Malik Tariq Mehmood Zargham. Charges were to be framed in that case on Saturday, but the hearing was deferred till June 6 as the judge was on leave.
In an FIR registered at Sabzazar police staiotn, the three brothers are accused of offences under Sections 302 (murder), 324 (attempted murder), 290 (public nuisance), 291 (continued public nuisance), 427 (mischief) and 149 (collective responsibility) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2012.