The four others accused are former chairman

Court fixes November 15 for recording deposition of witnesses in case

A Dhaka court on Monday framed charges against accused SMHI Faruque, landowner of FR Tower, and four others in a case filed for forgery in the design of the ill-fated building at Banani in Dhaka.

Divisional Court Judge Syed Kamal Hossain framed the charges after rejecting discharge petitions filed by the accused in the much-talked-about case.

After the framing of charges, the court fixed November 15 for recording the depositions of witnesses in the case.The prosecution read out the charges and asked the accused whether they were guilty or not. The accused then pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The four others accused are former chairman of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) Humayun Khadem, Rupayan Group Chairman Liaquat Ali Khan, Rajuk Chief Engineer Saidur Rahman, and Rajuk Authorised Officer Mokbul Hossain.

On October 29, 2019, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Deputy Director Abu Bakar Siddique submitted the chargesheet to the court against the five accused.

Earlier, on March 27, 2019, the building caught a deadly fire, leaving 25 people dead and 73 others injured.

During the investigation, the ACC found that the 23-storey FR Tower had no fire alarm, had narrow exit points and staircases, and the fire exits had been blocked.The authorities had legal permission for a 15-storey building but they turned it into a 23-storey one over time.

Earlier on June 25, 2019, the ACC filed two cases against 23 people, including the FR Tower owners and two chairpersons of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk), for their alleged involvement in illegally extending the tower beyond the permitted number of floors

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