Judge refuses to hear Baldia factory owners’ bail plea

Factory owners’ lawyer said his clients are aggrieved as they lost their precious asset.

Our Correspondent November 22, 2012


A Sindh High Court (SHC) judge refused to hear the bail plea of the owners of the Baldia garment factory on Thursday.

Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila, two of the three owners of the Ali Enterprises factory that caught fire in September and killed over 250 workers, had gone to court seeking bail. Justice Syed Hasan Azhar Rizvi declined to even hear their application for a post-arrest bail.

The police had booked them under charges of murder, mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to cause damage and attempt to murder.

In the bail application, their lawyer, Amir Raza Naqvi, had argued that the investigation was faulty and full of errors. Thus, the police implicated the factory owners to victimise them, he said. “The police have forced the witnesses to record their statements against the factory owners, who are already aggrieved as they lost their precious asset - their factory,” he said.

The lawyer had pleaded to the high court to extent relief of bail to his clients, who were implicated in the case and were behind bars.

On Monday, Justice Rizvi had issued notices to the prosecutor general and others after hearing the initial arguments on the bail application. When the case was again taken up on Thursday, the judge declined to hear the plea saying, “not before me”. The bail application is likely to be fixed before another bench soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2012. 


Asif | 8 years ago | Reply

I respect your opinions but it seems that you have had some bad business experience with Pakistan and/ or Ali Enterprises hence you seem very biased.

Anyways, whatever our arguments; They have been charged/framed with "planned and pre meditated murder". That is simply absurd and ridiculous. Even if all your points are true, they should be charged with Negligence maybe, but not planned Murder! I think you would at least agree to this.

Chris | 8 years ago | Reply

Mr Asif, I have been following this very closely from the day first and Iam not saying owners are at fault 100% but in a country like Pakistan Iam sorry to say everybody is corrupt and the big responsibility goes the owners. Who will do the right investigation in Pakistan? For what I read aome Pakistani trade unions or workers unions informed KIK that they will file law suits in international courts so KIK did what they have to do instead of fighting legal battle as it will cost them more or less the same what they paid so it was a right business move. And you are absolutely right about judicial system in Pakistan as I don't understand one thing how they got bail in a different city other than Karachi where they lived and work. What about case jurisdiction, fire happened in Karachi, owners lived in Karachi and they got bails in different cities of Pakistan. And by the way judges in courts can't be forced to hear the case if they think there decision can be biased as maybe they feel bad about 260 people who died. Even in US it's depends on judge if they want to accept any particular case or not. I know many factory owners in Karachi and they are personal friends for many years and I won't name any factory or any names here and they told me that they payoff all government departments on monthly basis from labor inspectors to mail man everybody is on their payroll. Regarding Walmart's $2 garment retailing for $20 I don't know where you come up with that. Ok ow some Walmart's buyers in Arkansas and their gross margins on clothing are in the range of 37-43% gross, net is around 15% the most on clothing and apparel. I think they deserve to make 15%. I can bet you Richard Branson has very good liability insurance I will say fair guess around a billion dollars in liability insurance for their workers and passengers. Can you tell me how many factories in Karachi have liability insurance for their employees in case like fire or other accident and I can assure you they all have insurance for their factories, machinery, building inventory etc but not workers like we have here workman compensation insurance. Have you ever dealt with Shahid and Arshad Bhaila (now it's too late) but I wish had and you will have a totally different opinion about them. That's all I can say.

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