Karachi shopping mall blaze: Court approves physical remand of five accused

Karachi shopping mall blaze: Court approves physical remand of five accused


Karachi shopping mall blaze: Court approves physical remand of five accused

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(Web Desk) – A lower court on Friday approved the physical remand of five individuals allegedly responsible for the RJ Shopping Mall blaze in Karachi’s Gulistan-e-Johar area, a private media outlet has reported.

During the proceedings, the Investigation Officer sought a 10-day physical remand of the five accused persons.

The request was granted by the Karachi East judicial magistrate, who also sought the submission of a progress report from the investigation officer on the next hearing.

The five accused persons produced before the judge included - Imran Adnan, the owner of a software house, Sultan and Faizan, part of the mall’s administration, and Abid Shah, the security in-charge.

On Nov 25, a fire broke out at 6:20 am in the fourth floor of a commercial high-rise building, RJ Shopping Mall, in Gulistan-e-Johar area, claiming at least 11 innocent lives and wounding five others.

A day later, a first information report (FIR) of the incident was registered at the Shahrah-e-Faisal Police Station.

Investigations revealed that the six-story building lacked crucial safety features, such as emergency exits and a fire alarm system, with suspicions pointing towards a short circuit as the fire's origin.

The FIR outlined a comprehensive inquiry covering several aspects: building construction approvals, adherence to maps and plans, potential complicity of K-Electric and other entities, negligence and the use of substandard materials.

Legal sections invoked in the FIR include those related to manslaughter, causing mischief by fire, negligent conduct regarding buildings and fires, along with the involvement of multiple individuals in these actions.

Following the incident, Sindh’s caretaker Chief Minister Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar ordered a safety audit of commercial and government buildings across the province in a bid to avert such tragedies in the future.

Authorities, including the Sindh Building Control Authority, Provincial Disaster Management Authority, Civil Defence, and local administrative bodies, were directed to conduct safety audits and submit their reports with recommendations.