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HC orders amicable settlement over compensation for fire victims

Published : Tuesday, 30 June, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 119

The High Court (HC) on Monday directed the United Hospital authorities to provide compensation to families of the victims, who were killed in a fire at its isolation unit on May 27, through an amicable settlement by July 11.
The court said it will pass an order on July 13 if the hospital authorities and family members of the victims fail to reach a settlement over compensation.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim came up with the directive after hearing virtually three separate writ petitions filed on behalf of the victim families, seeking compensation from the hospital authorities.
Barrister Muntasir Uddin Ahmed, Niaz Mohammad Mahboob, and Syed Ridwan Hasan appeared for the petitioner while Barrister Rokon Uddin Mahmud and Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan stood for United Hospital.
Following the order, lawyer Barrister Muntasir Uddin Ahmed said, "A hearing was held on Monday as per the pre-arranged date. After hearing both sides, the court asked the victims' families to apply to the hospital for compensation."
Lawyer Niaz Mohammad Mahboob said the victims' families will now apply for compensation in line with the HC directive to the United Hospital authorities.
Supreme Court lawyer Niaz Mohammad Mahboob filed the writ petition as a public interest litigation to the HC on May 31, seeking its directives on the authorities concerned to give Tk 5 crore to each victim's family and to take necessary action against the persons responsible for the incident.
Following the writ petition on June 2 the HC had asked the inspector general of police, Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakkha (Rajuk), Fire Service and Civil Defence and the United Hospital authority to submit a probe report into the deaths of five patients in fire at the hospital coronavirus unit by June 14.
The fire service was asked to submit the report of its five-member committee formed to investigate whether the hospital lacked safety measures. In contrast, the United Hospital authorities wwere asked to submit the report of its probe body formed following the fire.
On June 11,  Rajuk, Fire Service and Civil Defence, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, and United Hospital authorities submitted separate probe reports to the court through attorney general's office on June 11.
Five patients were killed in a fire at the isolation unit of United Hospital at Gulshan in the capital at about 9:30 pm on May 27.

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