SHC directs protection to prosecution witnesses

Karachi: Sindh High Court SHC on Wednesday put Home Secretary and Inspector General of Police IGP on the notice in an application seeking protection of the prosecution witnesses in the FIR lodged against the factory owners.

Headed by the Justice Maqbol Baqar, the division bench directed the home secretary, IGP and investigation officer to provide the complete protection to all the prosecution witnesses in the crime no. 343 of 2012 and shall also take measures to preserve the evidences so far collected in the said case fully effectively.

Court put off the hearing till December 19 with directions that report prepared by the Inquiry tribunal be submitted on the next date of hearing.

On Wednesday miscellaneous application was moved by Shujaudin Qureshi, representing Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research PILER who had filed petition seeking judicial inquiry into Karachi factory inferno incident that claimed at least 258 lives in SHC.

He submitted miscellaneous application that during the criminal trial of factory owners statement were recorded of the factory workers who testified that the doors of the factory were locked under the instructions of the factory owners, he however added that he was informed that the same witness who had testified against the factory owners were being threaten and coerced into giving contradictory statement and denying their previous statement.

He submitted that counsel for the petitioners was receiving threats on the telephone.

He appealed to court to direct the home secretary and IGP as well as investigation officer on FIR no.343/2012 at SITEB police station to provide complete to all prosecution witness and further direct them to ensure the complete preservation of all the evidence collected against the factory owners.