Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Property of Rana, Factory Owners

HC orders confiscation

HC orders confiscation

The High Court yesterday directed the government to confiscate immediately all the property of the owners of Rana Plaza and the five garment factories housed in the building at Savar.
The owner of the building is Sohel Rana, while the four owners of the factories are Anisur Rahman (Ether Tex), Aminul Islam (Phantom Apparels and Phantom Tack), Bazlus Samad Adnan (New Wave Buttons) and Mahbubur Rahman Tapash (New Wave Style).
During the hearing of a rule, the court ordered the inspector general of registration (IGR) to issue a circular to all district and upazila registrars across the country to take steps so that their property is not transferred or sold.
It asked the Bangladesh Bank to freeze all bank accounts of the five and asked the authorities concerned to pay the garment workers their salaries and other benefits from their accounts under the supervision of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The HC instructed the central bank governor to issue a circular in this regard and asked him and the IGR to submit separate reports within seven days after complying with the order.
It ordered the chief inspector of factories to prepare and submit to it a list of vulnerable garment factories across the country in two weeks.
The HC bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Muhammad Khurshid Alam Sarkar also asked Rajuk to submit a list of buildings in the areas under its jurisdiction in a week.
It ordered that a committee, headed by general officer commanding (GOC) of Nine Infantry Division, be formed to find ways to compensate the Rana Plaza victims adequately and to rehabilitate them.
The deputy commissioner and the superintendent of police in Dhaka; representatives of BGMEA, the health ministry, housing and public works ministry, labour ministry, five garment factories and Buet; an economist, a doctor and a psychiatrist will be included in the committee.
The committee will submit a preliminary report to the court in a month’s time.
The bench asked the officer-in-charge of Savar Police Station to keep it informed about the development of the two cases filed against the owners of Rana Plaza and five garment factories.
The court fixed May 8 for a further order on the issue.
The detained Rana and the factory owners were produced before the bench yesterday as per its April 25 rule.
The HC asked the editor and reporters concerned of the Prothom Alo to explain the reports, published on April 25, containing comments by Savar’s UNO Kabir Hossain on the cracks that had developed in Rana Plaza.
The UNO, however, told the court yesterday that he had not made any comments on the cracks.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam requested the court to pass an order to give each of the victims Tk 1 crore by realising the property of the accused.
Sohel Rana’s father Abdul Khalek, meanwhile, was placed on 13 days’ remand yesterday for his alleged involvement in the killings in Rana Plaza and for violating the rules and provisions of the national building code.
He was arrested at Moghbazar in the capital on Monday.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Wasim Sheikh passed the remand order when DB Inspector Mir Shahin Shah Parvez sought 20 days’ remand in the two cases.
After the HC order, the central bank yesterday issued a circular asking all commercial banks not to disburse any money from the bank accounts of Rana and the four factory owners.