Several NGOs advocating human rights have gone to the court against Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf for his alleged interference in the proceedings of the Baldia factory fire case.
They have also asked the court to order that the gutted factory be turned into a rehabilitation centre for the victims’ families.
The Pakistan Institute of Labor Education and Research (PILER), Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, National Trade Union Federation, Hosiery Garments Textile and General Workers Union, are among six petitioners who have filed a petition in the Sindh High Court.
The factory owners - Abdul Aziz Bhaila as well as his sons Arshad Bhaila and Shahid Bhaila - have been named in FIR 343 of 2012, registered at the SITE-B police station under Sections 435, 436, 337, 322, 302 and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code. According to the petitioners, the Prime Minister in his address to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry on December 29,2012 reportedly said that “the authorities should re-investigate the Baldia fire case and provide justice to the employers of Ali Enterprises if a wrong case has been registered against them under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.”
The court was also asked to direct the Sindh government to acquire the gutted factory’s land to establish and run a rehabilitation and community centre for the families of the victims and to order action against the government departments responsible for enforcing building, labour and environmental laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2013.