Even a year after the Rana Plaza collapse that left at least 1,135 people killed and scores maimed, police have yet to complete probing the country's worst industrial disaster.
Seven out of 21 accused in the three cases filed in this connection have already been out of prison on bail from the High Court.
Three other accused including Sohel Rana, owner of Rana Plaza, have also secured bail from the HC in two cases. They are, however, still behind bars, as the Supreme Court has stayed the HC bail orders following opposition from the Attorney General's Office.
Of those out on bail, Abdul Khalek, father of Sohel Rana, returned to Savar and has allegedly been lobbying with influential quarters for his son's bail.
Police officials claimed they were taking time to complete the investigation so that it could be done smoothly and faultlessly.
The Savar police, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and a victim's family filed the cases following the disaster on April 24 last year.
Rajuk official Helaluddin filed one of the cases against Sohel Rana for structural fault found at Rana Plaza and for constructing the building with substandard materials and violating the National Building Code.
Another case was filed by Sub-Inspector Wali Ashraf of Savar police against Rana, his father Abdul Khalek, and owners of five garments housed in the nine-storey building for the loss of lives.
The last case was filed by Sheuli Akter, wife of Jahangir Alam, whose body was recovered on April 24, against Rana, Bazlus Samad Adnan, owner of New Wave Style, and the chief engineer of Savar Municipality.
Officials of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police are now conducting investigation led by Assistant Superintendent of Police Bijoy Krishna Kar.
On November 23 last year, a Dhaka court asked the CID to explain why they had failed to complete the investigation and ordered them to submit a probe report to it on December 24.
Contacted, ASP Bijoy said his office had already submitted to the court a progress report on the investigation.
“I hope fully-fledged probe reports will be placed before the court within a month,” he said.
Bijoy further said two probe reports would be submitted in the three cases, as two cases are almost similar.
The CID were recording statements of families of all the deceased as well as survivors, whose number exceeded 1,100, he added.
“They are both witness and victims,” he said, referring to the survivors. “Besides, we need to collect and analyse all the documents related to the design and construction of the building.”
The ASP said there was no mandatory provision for completing the probe within a stipulated time for cases filed under the Penal Code.
The CID official said Rana's father Abdul Khalek, the mayor and a commissioner of Savar Municipality and its two engineers, and two other persons from Jessore who had given shelter to Rana immediate after the collapse have been released on bail.
Fourteen other accused including Rana and the owners of five garments were still behind bars, he informed.
Lawyers at the SC said the cases were filed under such sections of law that allowed the court to grant bail to the accused.