Delwar denied bail, wife granted
A Dhaka court today rejected bail to Tazreen Fashions owner Delwar Hossain and granted his wife and chairman of the company Mahmuda Akhter a one-month conditional bail.
The order came a day after the two surrendered before the court in connection with the country's worst factory fire which killed 112 workers.
They are the first garment factory owners to be prosecuted for a factory fire.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Md Ismail Hossain rejected Delwar's bail petition for negligence of duty as owner of the factory.
While granting bail to the Tazreen chairman, the court noted that she has a four-year-old son who is sick at the moment.
Mahmuda will have to appear the before the court every Sunday over the month when she will be on bail.
The couple turned themselves in to the court to seek bail, after being at large for more than a year following the November 2012 fire at their factory in Ashulia.
The surrender came six weeks after the same court took the charges into cognisance and issued arrest warrants for them.
On December 22 last year, police pressed homicide charges against 13 people, including Delwar and Mahmuda.
The accused also face charges of causing grievous injuries and deaths by negligence.
According to the charge sheet, the couple had constructed the building on a faulty plan with the help of the engineer, and illegally used the ground-floor walkway as a warehouse.
Of the 11 other accused, the factory manager, quality manager, engineer and production manager were shown as fugitives in the charge sheet.
Six accused got bail from the High Court and the lower court on different dates. Only the security in-charge of the company is now behind bars.
Following a writ petition, the HC in May last year asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to prosecute Delwar for his alleged negligence in protecting the workers.
The rule is pending with the HC, and the court may hear it any day, said petitioners' counsel Asaduzzaman.
During the proceedings of the writ petition, Delwar appeared before the HC at every hearing in line with a court order.
In June last year, a probe body formed by the home ministry submitted a report to the HC, saying there was “unpardonable negligence” on the part of the owner.