A Dhaka court on Monday framed charges against 16 people including the building owner and Rupayan Group’s chairman in a case filed over fabricating the design of FR Tower.
Dhaka divisional special judge Syed Kamal Hossain passed the order and officially started the trial of the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), said ACC lawyer Mahmud Hossain Jahangir.
Meanwhile the court has acquitted two people of the charges and set December 1 for recording testimonies.
The indicted accused include Syed Md Hossain Imam Faruque, leaseholder of FR Tower, Liakat Ali Khan Mukul, chairman of Rupayan Housing Estate, and President of FR Tower Owners’ Society and Managing Director of Quasem DryCell Tasvir ul Islam.
Also included among the accused are Md Shamsul Alam, former director of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), it’s assistant director Shah Md Sadrul Alam, assistant authorized officer Md Nazrul Islam, former supervisor Jahanara Begum, assistant director Meheduzzaman, high quality assistant Md Saiful Alam and Md Shafiullah, building inspector Imrul Kabir and Md Shawkat Ali, former authorized officer Md Shafiqul Islam, low quality assistant Mhuhammad Mojibur Rahman Molla, and office assistants Md Enamul Haque and Shawkat Ali.
The two acquitted are-Md Mofazzel Hossain and Abdullah Al Baki.
The 23-storied FR Tower caught fire on March 28, 2019, leaving 25 people dead and 73 others injured.
The Anti-Corruption Commission found that the building had narrow exit points and staircases, and no fire alarm. Also, the fire exits were blocked.
The FR Tower authority had permission for a 15-story building, but they had allowed builder Rupayan to illegally add eight more floors over time.
On June 25, 2019, ACC Deputy Director Abu Bakar Siddique filed the case with ACC's integrated district office Dhaka-1 over RAJUK’s approval, fee submission, fabricating design and approving it along with another case over the fire incident.