Judicial Magistrate Malik Shafique Ahmed on Friday granted four-day physical remand of Khalid Rauf, owner of a construction company that built the pedestrian bridge on Ring Road that collapsed on Thursday. A truck driver died in the incident.
North Cantonment police had sought a 10-day physical remand alleging use of substandard material.
Rauf said he alone could not be held responsible for the bridge.
He said at least four agencies that had inspected and cleared the bridge after the construction should be treated similarly.
He said the bridge had been built three years ago and that under the contract the builder was responsible for its maintenance for only one year. He also said the case was a malafide attempt to “humiliate a taxpayer”.
His counsel submitted that the bridge collapse was caused by an accident and not because of any substandard material used in its construction. Had the truck’s ‘bucket’ not collided with the bridge, he said, it wouldn’t have fallen. He contended that Section 302 did not apply in this case.
He also said his client had done a lot of Ring Road work and never charged with substandard construction.
The prosecution said that the fatal collapse was a result of “sheer negligence” by the builder and accused him of using substandard material.
The FIR was registered on Thursday by Col (retired) Asim, the Ring Road operations and maintenance director. Soon after the incident, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had visited the scene and ordered an inquiry.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.