KARACHI – The Sindh High Court on Monday issued its rulings on the appeals of two Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) activists who had been sentenced to death in the Baldia factory fire case by the anti-terrorism court.
The SHC upheld the decision of the anti-terrorism court, confirming the death sentences of MQM activists Abdul Rehman and Zubair.
The charges against Abdul Rehman and Zubair included murder, extortion, arson, and terrorism, which they had appealed in the province's highest court. These appeals were heard by a division bench of the high court led by Justice Mohammad Karim Khan Agha, who had reserved judgment on August 29.
Additionally, the Sindh High Court rejected the government's appeal against the acquittal of four individuals, including MQM leader Rauf Siddiqui, Umar Hasan Qadri, Dr Abdul Sattar Khan, and Iqbal Adeeb Khanum, citing insufficient evidence. However, the high court did accept the appeals of the four accused who had been sentenced to life imprisonment.
In the original trial, factory employees and gatekeepers named Shahrukh, Fazal Ahmed, Arshad Mehmood, and Ali Mohammad were sentenced to life imprisonment by the anti-terrorism court. Still, the Sindh High Court's verdict today overturned their sentences, declaring them void.
After the verdict, MQM leader Rauf Siddiqui expressed his dissatisfaction, claiming a double standard of justice in Pakistan. He asserted that the entire case seemed to be against him, even though his party's workers were present at the time of the incident and were attempting to rescue people. Siddiqui, who was serving as the minister of commerce at the time, emphasized that he had no involvement in the incident or its proceedings and had resigned from his position.
The tragic incident in question occurred exactly 11 years ago in 2012 when a devastating fire at a factory in Baldia Town claimed the lives of hundreds of workers, with 260 workers perishing in the blaze.
Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 29, 2024 (Thursday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.1 for buying and 282.35 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352 for buying, and 355.5 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.3.
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