LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Wednesday granted interim bail to all the owners of Orient Labs Factory, which caved in due to a boiler explosion claiming 24 lives, by February 29 on the submission of surety bonds of Rs 100,000.

Earlier, a sessions court on Wednesday dismissed pre-arrest bails of the above said owners. The factory owners including Zaheer Iqbal, Zafar Iqbal and Zubair Iqbal’s counsel Sardar Khurram Latif Khosa contended that murder case could not be registered if a gas cylinder explodes adding the people died in fire and the workers died in Coal mines but the case could not be registered against the owners.

However, opponent counsel contended that the owners were fully aware about the condition of the building but they ignored. Around 700 applications were submitted against the Orient Labs before different departments but not a single step was taken against them, he added.

He argued that LDA assistant director had also written to SHO concerned to register case against those who reopened the factory but no action was taken. He also read the statement of the technician to the court which he recorded before the police that there were heavy machines installed in the building and a heavy gas generator was also placed on third floor of the building.

After recording arguments of both parties, the judge first reserved the decision and later dismissed the bail petition of the owners of Orient Labs factory.

Later, the Lahore High Court granted interim bail to all aforesaid accused by February 29 on the submission of surety bonds of Rs 100,000.