Rana Plaza trials stuck in stay | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 24, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:39 AM, April 24, 2018

Rana Plaza trials stuck in stay

The trial proceedings of the two cases filed over the Rana Plaza building collapse in Savar in April 2013 were stuck for the last two years as the accused filed criminal appeals with higher courts challenging the indictment orders.

Due to a stay on the trial proceedings, courts cannot start their trials even though witnesses including complainants have been appearing before those courts since the charges were framed against all the accused in 2016, said Anwarul Kabir Babul, one of the additional public prosecutors.

If the trial proceedings of the cases are stuck for years, victims of the disaster will not get justice in due time, said Babul.

He added that they would take an initiative for quick disposal of the cases pending with the higher courts.   

On April 24, 2013, the nine-storey Rana Plaza, which had housed five clothing factories, a shopping mall and a bank, came crashing down, leaving at least 1,136 people dead and about 2,000 injured.

After the disaster, Savar police filed a case against the building owner, Sohel Rana, and the owners of the five clothing factories housed in the building for the killing while Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) filed another case against Sohel Rana and several others for building code violation.

On June 1, 2015, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) submitted two charge sheets against 42 people including Sohel Rana -- one for killing 1,136 people, mostly garment workers, and injuring over 2000 others, and the other for violating building code.  

In the charge sheets, 41 people were charged with murder while 18 of them were charged with violation of the building code as well. Of the accused, only Rana is now in jail while the others secured bail from different courts on different dates.

On July 18, 2016, the sessions judge framed charges against Rana, his parents Abul Kahalek and Morjina Begum, and 38 others, in the murder case filed over the building's collapse in 2013. 

On the other hand, the Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court on June 14 the same year, another Dhaka court framed charges against Rana and 17 others in the case filed over “violation of the building code” in the construction of Rana Plaza.

Later, on different dates, seven accused filed criminal appeals with the High Court challenging the judge court order and the HC stayed trial proceedings of the murder case while five other accused of the building code violation case filed revisions with the sessions judge's court that stayed lower court trial proceedings.

Asked, Dhaka District Public Prosecutor Khondaker Abdul Mannan told The Daily Star that he had informed the Attorney General Office about the stay orders on the trials and requested the AG Office to get the stay orders get vacated.

Three four more cases were filed against Rana including two corruption cases.

On August 29 last year, another Dhaka court sentenced Sohel Rana to three years' simple imprisonment in a case filed against him for not submitting his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

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