Five years on, no headway in Rana Plaza case as testimonies stall

Five years into the Rana Plaza collapse, trial in the murder case filed against the building owner and others is yet to begin.

Court CorrespondentPrakash Biswas,
Published : 24 April 2018, 04:06 AM
Updated : 24 April 2018, 04:06 AM

The case documents of the tragic incident have shown evidence of negligence from the court officer and police.

Testimonies of the case due in a Dhaka Court have not begun as yet, Chief Public Prosecutor Khandaker Abdul Mannan told on Monday.

The High Court has issued stay orders following an appeal from seven accused, which has stalled the process, he said.

"We have learned all stay orders on the case procedure have been withdrawn, against all the accused except for Mohammed Ali," said Advocate Mannan.

"However, we could not begin the testimonies as we are yet to receive the withdrawal order from the High Court.”

The case documents show the case against Mohammed Ali is stayed until May 12.

Abu Bakar Siddique, one of the seven accused hailing from Barisal, has died in a road crash. The court instructed the police to submit a report on his death when Siddique's lawyer informed the court about it on Sep 18, 2016.

The police took a long time and submitted the report confirming the death of Abu Bakar to the court only few days back.

Rana Plaza, a building that housed five garment factories in Savar, collapsed on Apr 24, 2013, making it the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh.

At least 1,136 died while more than 2,000 workers were injured, with some of them crippled for life. At least 2,438 people were rescued alive.

Sub-Inspector Wali Ashraf of Savar Police Station filed a case citing 'murder due to negligence' after the incident.

Assistant Police Commissioner of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Bijoy Krishna Kar submitted the charge sheet against 41 accused including building owner Sohel Rana on Apr 26, 2015.

At least 594 people were listed as witnesses.

Two of the 41 accused Abu Bakar Siddique and Abul Hossain have died leaving the number of accused as 39 at present.

Trial of the case has been stalled although Dhaka District and Session Judge SM Quddus Zaman had ordered to begin trial on Jul 18, 2016.

Documents show that the plaintiff and other state party witnesses had returned without recording their testimonies even after they showed up on 11 scheduled dates.

The last scheduled date for testimonies was Apr 15. Judge Quddus Zaman has fixed May 16 for the next hearing.

Three of the accused Md Shah Alam Mithu, Md Abul Hasan and Syed Shafiqul Islam Johny have been accused under Section 212 of the Penal Code for assisting main accused Sohel Rana to flee. The rest of the 38 people have been charged for homicide.

Main accused Sohel Rana is in prison now while Mahbubur Rahman, Qamrul lslam, Monowar Hossain Biplob, Syed Shafiqul Islam, Rezaul Karim, Nantu and Nayan Miah are at large.

Rana's parents Abdul Khaleque and Marjina Begum along with other accused are out on bail.


Testimonies on another case filed under Building Construction Act on the same incident have been stalled too, said Public Prosecutor Anwarul Kabir Babul when asked.

"Some of the accused sought revision challenging the legitimacy of the charges against them; we cannot go on with the testimonies unless we receive a court order on the revision although we are missing several dates," he told

Duty Officer of Capital Development Authority Rajuk Md Helal Uddin had filed a case with Savar Police Station for not following the Building Construction Act while constructing Rana Plaza.

Documents show police officer Bijoy Krishna Kar submitted the charge sheet on Apr 26, 2015 accusing 18 people including building owner Sohel Rana. However, no testimonies have been recorded so far.


Sohel Rana and his mother have been convicted in the case filed against them by the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Rana has been jailed for three years and fined Tk 50,000 for not filing his wealth statement.

Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka Special Judge’s Court -6 announced the verdict on Aug 29, 2017.

Rana's mother Marjina Begum has been sentenced to six years in prison for acquiring illegal wealth and providing false information. Also, the court seized Tk 66.8 million of her wealth. Judge Imrul Kayes announced the verdict of this case on Mar 29.

Public Prosecutor Anowarul Kabir Babul said fire arms and narcotic cases filed against Rana are also on trial.