The High Court yesterday granted bail to Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana for six months in a case lodged for flouting building construction law.
The vacation bench of Justice Md Rezaul Hasan and Justice Khurshid Alam Sarkar passed the order following a bail plea placed by defence lawyer Abdul Kader Bhuiyan.
Deputy Attorney General Md Selim told the Dhaka Tribune that the court granted the bail as it found the offence bailable. During the hearing, Selim opposed the plea.
On February 2, the High Court bench of Justice Nizamul Huq and Justice Jahangir Hossain rejected the bail petition of Rana.
Selim said the defence placed fresh petition yesterday.
The eight-storey Rana Plaza collapsed on April 24 last year, claiming at least 1,135 lives and injuring nearly 2,500 people, most of them female workers of the five factories housed at the building.
Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) filed the case against Rana and 11 others with Savar police station for using substandard materials and violating building construction law.
The High Court earlier granted bail to Abdul Khalek, father of the building owner, and seven others in the Rajuk case.
The defence yesterday also submitted a bail petition in the case filed by Savar police against Rana and five others for causing deaths of workers due to negligence.
However, the court said they would not hear the matter and suggested that if the defence moved it again after the vacation, a regular bench could hear it.
The investigators found that Rana got approval for a six-storey building, and later, violating the related law, illegally obtained approval for four more floors. The building was first a commercial one, and then it was approved as an industrial structure.
Rana rented out the floors to the factories to install big and heavy machines. The building thus became more vulnerable. The Savar municipality helped his illegal activities by providing trade licenses to the five garment factories in the commercial building.
Lawyers say the cases were not strong enough to ensure the highest punishment. The case filed by the Rajuk was bailable and the court could award Rana a maximum of seven years imprisonment in this case.
In the other case filed by the police for negligence, the accused could not be convicted for directing or planning the killings.