A magistrate on Tuesday sent the owner of Khalid Raoof & Company on a 14-day judicial remand. The company built the pedestrian bridge that collapsed last week, killing a truck driver.
North Cantt police had produced Khalid Raoof before judicial magistrate Malik Shafique Ahmed, seeking a 7-day physical remand to complete the investigation. The truck driver’s brother, widow and seven daughters were also present in court. They submitted affidavits describing the collapse as an accident and saying that they did not want to pursue the matter. The judge, however, sent Raoof to jail, directing that he be produced before the court on July 17.
At the last hearing, Raoof’s counsel had said if Raoof was being blamed for the collapse, the four government companies that had inspected and cleared the bridge after construction should also be held responsible. He said that under the contract, the company’s liability for maintenance only extended to a year. The bridge, he added, had been built three years ago.
His counsel declared the collapse an accident, denying that substandard construction material was responsible for it caving in. Had the truck’s dumper not collided with the bridge, he said, it wouldn’t have fallen. He contended that Section 302 did not apply in this case. The prosecution has said that the fatal collapse was a result of “sheer negligence” by the builder, who used substandard material.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.