Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Sunday filed a case with local police accusing 17 people of breaching regulations over the construction of a building that collapsed last year, killing over 1,130 workers in the garment industry.
The April 2013 collapse of Rana Plaza, built on swampy ground outside Dhaka, ranks amongt the world's worst industrial accidents and sparked a global outcry for improved safety standards in the world's second-largest exporter of ready-made garments.
The accused include the parents of Mohammad Sohel Rana — the man previously cited as the owner of Rana Plaza — as well as a local mayor, engineers and three owners of garment factories that used the building.
Sohel Rana is the main accused in the murder case, but he has been left out of the current case as his name was not found in any of the papers needed for approval of the building.
ACC spokesman Pranab Kumar Bhattachajee said Rana's name did not appear in documents covering ownership of the land and design approval, which instead listed his parents as owners.
"Our investigation found they grossly breached the building code," Bhattachajee said.
Municipal authorities gave permission for extra floors in the building, but they had no such authority, he added.
The ACC will now appoint an official to conduct a further investigation into the 17 accused, that may result in new charges being filed in court.
Low labor costs and, critics say, shortcuts on safety, make Bangladesh one of the cheapest places to make large quantities of clothing.
Companies are split over how to improve conditions. Big European firms signed an accord that would make them legally responsible for safety. Some U.S. companies like Wal Mart have broken ties with non-compliant factories.
Late last year, the government raised the minimum wage for garment workers by 77 percent to 5,300 taka ($68) and amended its labor law to boost worker rights, including the freedom to form trade unions.