KARACHI: A division bench of the Sindh High Court has declined to hear the bail petition of Zubair alias Charya, one of key the suspects in the Baldia factory inferno case. Headed by Justice Farooq Shah, a division bench referred the matter to SHC Chief Justice to fix the same before another bench. Zubair had approached the high court though his counsel after an anti-terrorism court had dismissed his bail plea. Baldia factory fire was one of the worst fire incidents in Pakistan’s history. Ali Enterprises caught fire on September 11, 2012, which claimed the lives of 259 workers. Though it was initially declared an accident, however, the Baldia factory inferno case took a dramatic turn on February 2015 when a report by Rangers claimed that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was behind the deadly fire. Several JITs were formed but they failed to make a major breakthrough. However, the investigators were able to declare it a criminal act after recording the statements of the factory owners. Following the arrest, the officials investigating the case vowed to formulate a JIT to interrogate Bhola. The JIT had alleged that former MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee chief Hammad Siddiqui, his front man and then Baldia Town sector in-charge Bhola, Zubair Charya and three unidentified persons were behind the plot of setting the factory on fire. It nominated 13 suspects, including the factory’s owners, gatekeepers and some other employees, in the case. Subsequently, the police conducted investigation in the light of the JIT report and filed a supplementary investigation report, charge-sheeting Hammad Siddiqui, Bohla, Zubair and their other accomplices and the factory owners. Meanwhile, another bench has adjourned till August 10 the petition filed by two opposition lawmakers belonging to Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML-F) accusing the Sindh government of discriminating against their constituents in release of funds for uplift schemes. PML-F MPA Nusrat Sehar Abbasi and Pir Rashid Shah have petitioned the high court seeking its directives for the government to release funds for development projects to be executed in their respective constituencies. The petitioners cited Sindh chief secretary, planning and development department’s secretary, Sindh chief minister’s principal secretary and other provincial authorities as respondents. The legislators, represented by Advocate Mulla Bux Khattian, alleged that their constituents were being meted out unjust treatment in terms of withholding funds for development schemes to be undertaken in their areas only because of their political affiliation. Ms Abbasi, elected on a general seat reserved for women, and Pir Rashid Shah, MPA from Khairpur, submitted that the local authorities had approved their uplift projects, however they couldn’t be executed for short of funds. They pleaded to the judges to direct the provincial government to release funds for the approved development schemes. A similar petition filed by Pakistan Muslims League Nawaz’s (PML-N) lawmakers against alleged discrimination in release of funds for uplift schemes was pending disposal in the court. The petition was filed by MNA Syed Ayaz Ali Shah Shirazi (NA-238), MPA Syed Aijaz Ali Shah Shirazi (PS-84), MPA Syed Ameer Hyder Shah Shirazi (PS-85), and MPA Syed Shah Hussain Shah Shirazi (PS-86). Published in Daily Times, July 19th , 2017.