The Islamabad High Court reserved on Friday its verdict on a petition calling for an investigation into the Tezgam Express fire.
Seventy-four people were killed on October 31, 2019 after the Tezgam Express caught fire near Rahim Yar Khan. The fire spread to three bogies of the moving train. It was heading to Rawalpindi from Karachi and was near the Tanwari Railway Station when the fire erupted. More than 40 people were injured.
Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani reserved his verdict in the case after the respondents completed their arguments. The police, Pakistan Railways and Interior Ministry are investigating the case, everyone in Pakistan has become an investigation officer for this matter, he said.
The petitioner’s lawyer said Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed should resign over his conduct after the accident. Justice Kiyani said that if a resignation was to be based on conduct, then all the ministers would need to resign.
Resignations are always tendered based on ethics, said the judge, adding that Pakistan hasn’t reached this stage of ethics yet. In the motorway rape case, the media is conducting the entire inquiry, he noted.
The Railways Ministry and Interior Ministry submitted their reports on the accident to the court in which they said that in light of the inquiry, 15 people were declared responsible for the accident. Five of them were head constables, one was a Tableeghi Jamaat worker and two were private waiters.
The deputy divisional superintendent for Karachi, divisional commercial officer for Karachi, the Hyderabad SHO and Khanpur SHO were found guilty of negligence.
In the report it was also mentioned that reservation supervisor Qamar Shah was also found responsible and action has been initiated against all those responsible.
Justice Kiyani said the Interior Ministry and Railways Ministry are conducting separate inquiries. In such a situation, can an order be passed to form another inquiry commission, he asked.
The petitioner’s lawyer said the court can order an independent inquiry. Eight bodies have yet to be identified, their families also need compensation, he said.
The court than reserved its verdict in the case.