HC grants Rana Plaza owner bail in murder case
The High Court today granted bail to Sohel Rana, the owner of Rana Plaza, which collapsed claiming at least 1,136 lives in April 2013.
The bench of Justice Md Akram Hossain Chowdhury and Justice Mohammad Ali passed the bail order in a murder case after holding hearing on a rule that questioned earlier why Sohel Rana should not be granted bail.
Sohel Rana's lawyer Md Qamrul Islam told The Daily Star that there is no legal bar to his client's release from jail following the HC order as of now.
If the government files an appeal with the Supreme Court's Appellate Division challenging the bail order and if the apex court stays the HC verdict that granted the bail, Sohel cannot walk out from jail, he said.
Deputy Attorney General Mohiuddin Dewan, who opposed the bail petition, told this correspondent that the state will move an appeal before the Appellate Division challenging the HC verdict.
Lawyer Qamrul said Sohel Rana is not the owner of Rana Plaza, as his father Abdul Khaleq, who purchased the land and got the plan for constructing the building from Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), was the owner of the building.
The number of accused in the case is 41 including Sohel Rana. Three of them, including Sohel Rana's father Abdul Khalek, have died.
Thirty-seven of the rest of the 38 accused except for Sohel Rana are now on bail, the lawyer said.
The case was filed on charge of negligence in constructing the building, murder charge was included in the case later on, he added.
Qamrul said Sohel Rana may have liabilities for the collapse of Rana Plaza, but he has right to get justice.
However, the engineers of Rajuk, who approved the plan of the building, and owners of the garment factory there, have also liabilities for the incident, he added.
Deputy Attorney General Mohiuddin Dewan, who opposed the bail petition, told this correspondent that the state will move an appeal before the Appellate Division challenging the HC verdict that granted bail to Sohel Rana in the case.
At least 1,136 people, mostly garment workers, were killed and over 2,500 others injured as the nine-storey building came crashing down in Savar on April 24, 2013.
Hours after the disaster, Wali Ashraf, sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, had filed the murder case against building owner Sohel Rana, his father and several others.
The Criminal Investigation Department of police on May 24, 2015 pressed charges against Sohel Rana and 41 others in the murder case.
On July 18, 2016, the Dhaka District and Sessions Judge's Court framed charges against the 41 accused, including Sohel Rana, also a former Jubo League leader in Savar, in the case.