Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  
Front Page

Savar Factory Collapse
HC asks why not probe by judge
Blocks owners' disposing of assets

The High Court yesterday issued a rule asking the government why it should not be directed to form a commission headed by a sitting or a retired Supreme Court judge to inquire into the factory collapse in Savar, find the culprits and suggest measures to prevent such disasters in future.

The court also restrained the chairman, managing director and directors of the Spectrum Sweater Industries Ltd from disposing of their assets and properties.

It asked them to show cause why they would not be directed to pay adequate compensations for rehabilitating the victims.

The court orders came following a writ petition filed by four injured workers and nine rights based organisations. The court yesterday issued the show cause notice on about 20 people asking them to reply in two weeks.

The respondents include the secretaries of the ministries of home, labour and employment, industries, food and disaster management, land, and environment.

The deputy commissioner of Dhaka, chief inspector of factories of Rajuk, chief executive officer of Savar Cantonment Board, director general of Fire Service, president of BGMEA and three owners of the sweater factory are the other respondents.

The court asked them to show cause why they would not be directed to take legal actions against the persons responsible for the April 11 building collapse that killed at least 80 people and injured more than 90.

The respondents have also been asked why they would not be directed to ensure appropriate protective measures to prevent such disasters in future and also to protect the families of the victims of such incidents.

The court asked them why they would be directed to inform whether the garment factories in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Chittagong are properly constructed through appropriate legal formalities.

The court further ordered the DC of Dhaka, Rajuk and the BGMEA to produce their investigation reports before the court.

The chief inspector of factories, Rajuk, and the CEO of Savar Cantonment Board and the Dhaka DC have been directed to submit reports before the court on the legality of the construction of the building, ownership of land and safety conditions of the buildings.

The reports will have to be submitted within one week from the reopening of the court after the vacation next month.

The petitioners are injured workers Md Kamal Hossain, Monjurul Islam, Mozaffar and Md Motalib, rights bodies Ain o Shalish Kendro, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, Bangladesh Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights, Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association, Centre for Sustainable Development, Karmajibi Nari, Nijera Kori and Odhikar.

Dr Kamal Hossain along with Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Tanjibul Alam and Iqbal Kabir moved the petition.