Rana Plaza owner’s bail stayed by SC
The Supreme Court chamber judge yesterday stayed until May 8 the High Court verdict that granted bail to Sohel Rana, owner of the ill-fated Rana Plaza, in a murder case filed hours after the building's collapse about a decade ago.
Rana will not be released from jail after this, his lawyer Md Qamrul Islam told The Daily Star.
Justice Md Abu Jafor Siddique, chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, passed the order after a petition was filed by the state challenging the HC verdict.
The apex court chamber judge also sent the state's petition to its full bench for further hearing on May 8.
The allegations against Rana are so serious that he cannot be granted bail in the case, Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi, who argued for the state during the hearing, told reporters.
On April 24, 2013, the nine-storey Rana Plaza caved in killing at least 1,135 people and injuring more than 2,500 others, in what was one of the worst industrial disasters in the nation's history. Wali Ashraf, sub-inspector of Savar Police Station, lodged the murder case against Sohel, his father and several others on the same day.
Rana had extended the Rana Plaza without taking approval from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), he said, adding that the tragedy has damaged the image of the country's garments sector internationally.
Besides, some co-accused of the case made confessional statements before the magistrate involving Rana, Bappi added.
Earlier in the day, the state filed the petition with the Appellate Division through the attorney general's office seeking a stay order on the HC verdict of bail.
On April 6, the HC granted bail to Rana in the case following a bail petition filed by him.
His lawyer Qamrul told The Daily Star that day that his client has been suffering in jail for 10 years in the case.
There are 594 witnesses in this case, but the trial court has recorded statements from only 35 in the last 10 years, he added.