Government to challenge Delowar’s bail

It was the last working day of the Supreme Court before its month-long vacation began

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The government will appeal with the Supreme Court against a recent High Court order that granted bail to imprisoned Delowar Hossain, the owner of Tuba Group which also owns Tazreen Fashions, where a fire killed at least 112 workers in 2012.

Deputy Attorney General Shafiul Bashar Bhandary yesterday told the Dhaka Tribune: “The appeal against Delowar Hossain’s bail is under process. A decision has been made to file the petition seeking a stay order on the High Court’s bail order.”

Bhandary had opposed the bail prayer by Delowar’s counsel during a hearing on July 24 when the High Court bench of Justice Syed AB Mahmudul Huq and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder granted him two month’s ad interim bail in a case filed regarding the tragic factory fire.

It was the last working day of the Supreme Court before its month-long vacation began. During the vacation, only special courts sit to deal with urgent cases.

Bhandary, however, could not confirm when they would submit the appeal to the Supreme Court’s chamber judge’s court.

The chamber judge’s vacation court sat on July 31. It will sit again tomorrow and on August 12, 19 and 25, according to the official website a the apex court.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam is currently abroad.

Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, who is now working as the acting attorney general, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Deputy Attorney General [Shafiul Bashar Bhandary] has sent me a note regarding the appeal. We will make a decision regarding the issue after seeing the note.”

When asked how long it may take to file the petition, Murad Reza said: “The process is underway. It will take two or three days.” In response to another question, he said: “If the accused [Delowar] is released from jail by this time, we will pray to the court to issue a directive for his surrender.”

However, Delowar’s counsel at Dhaka’s lower court Golam Gaus told the Dhaka Tribune over the phone that the bail order had yet to reach the court, adding, “So, his release from jail will take time because of legal procedures at the court and other offices concerned.”

In the meantime, Delowar’s relatives have been busy tackling the ongoing crisis over the dues of around 1,600 workers of Tuba Group’s five garments factories.

Around 1,200 workers of the units have been on a fast-unto-death for the last seven consecutive days

in the factory building at the capital’s Badda.

Gaus said: “So the family members could not give much time for the procedures regarding Delowar’s bail. They may take time to get involved with this issue.”

A government probe report submitted a month after the Tazreen fire incident blamed owner Delowar saying, criminal charges for “unpardonable negligence” should be brought against the owner. The government probe report suggested that the owner of the factory could not be indemnified from the death of large numbers of workers from the fire incident at Tazreen Fashions on November 24, 2012.

However, Delowar remained free from criminal charges for a long time and there was no move to arrest him, which surprised many.

Finally, on December 22 last year, the CID pressed charges in the case of the Tazreen fire against 13 persons including Delowar and his wife Mahmuda Akhter Mita. A Dhaka court also issued arrest warrants against Delowar and five others on December 31.

The accused were absconding in the eyes of the law when the charges were submitted to the court. Delowar and Mahmuda surrendered before a Dhaka court on February 24.

The accused were all charged under the penal code with culpable homicide and unplanned construction of the building. If the charges are proved, the accused may be punished by maximum life imprisonment or minimum seven years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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