A fire erupted in the Supreme Court Building reportedly due to short circuit on Monday causing damage to the offices of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) as well as the Press Association of Supreme Court (PAS). According to details, the fire erupted at the first floor of the Supreme Court building.
As a result, four rooms of the SCBA and the office of the PAS were affected.
Two of the four rooms of the SCBA completely turned to ashes while the other two were significantly damaged.
Office of the PAS was also badly damaged as a result of the fire.
Electric appliances in the office were also damaged.
The top court’s administration asserted that the fire was erupted due to short circuit.
“An inquiry committee has been formed comprising a team of Capital Development Authority (CDA) fire department to determine the reason behind the mishap,” Additional Registrar Administration Khawaja Daud Ahmad told media persons, adding the report would be produced before the Supreme Court chief justice.
However, a Supreme Court staff on condition of anonymity said the Fire Alarm System was nonfunctional due to which the incident occurred.
The staff of the PWD (electricity wing) confirmed The Express Tribunethat the high ups of the top court were repeatedly notified regarding absence of a system to coup with untoward incidents such as this.
They said that despite the passage of more than five years, the Fire Alarm System in Supreme Court of Pakistan has not been repaired, while the installation of a new system has been pending for many years.
Sources said that the Fire Alarm System was installed in the Supreme Court building 20 years ago, which had now been outdated.
They said PC-1 was ready for installation of a modern system but no progress had been seen because of the reported high cost.
A security official at the Supreme Court told this correspondent that a large number of mice teem the apex court building, and the short-circuit happened as a result of the mice biting away the electric wires.
He said that a dead mouse was also found in one of the burnt rooms near a damaged electricity wire. Official said that the administration had recently bought around 100 mouse traps to rid the premises of the menace.
He said that they figured out that there was a fire when they smell the smoke since no alarm facility was installed in the building.
Surprisingly, no close-circuit cameras are installed in the affected part of the Supreme Court premises.
The security official said that it would be hard to figure out if the fire was due to any sabotage act as there was no video footage available.
Later, the SCBA President, Ali Zafar met Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and apprised him about the incident and resultant damage.
The SCBA Additional Secretary Aslam Ghumman also expressed concern over non-functioning of the fire alarm system.
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