Deaths in United Hospital Fire

HC asks parties to reach settlement over compensation claims

M Moneruzzaman  | Published: 01:36, Jun 30,2020


The High Court on Monday directed the United Hospital authorities and the families of five victims of a fire in the hospital to reach an amicable settlement over the victims’ compensation claims by July 12.

The online bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim also fixed July 13 for passing further order on three writ petitions that claimed Tk 1 crore compensations for each family of the deceased as an interim remedy until disposal of the case.

The claimants are Reazul Alam’s widow Fowzia Akter, Mahbub Elahi Chowdhury’s son Anan Chowdhury, and Bernard Anthony Paul’s son-in-law Ronald Micky Gomes.

The families of victims Khodeza Begum and Monir Hossain are yet to seek compensations.

The court said that police, Fire Service and Civil Defence Department and the Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakhya found prima-facie evidence that the sheer negligence of the United Hospital authorities was responsible for the loss of lives on May 27.

The court also said that it would ask the inspector general of the police to expeditiously complete the investigation into the case filed on June 3 under Section 304 (A) of the Penal Code against the hospital authorities for alleged negligence.

The five patients died after the fire broke out in an air-conditioner installed on the doctors’ working room in the temporarily constructed tin-shed building which was connected to the COVID19 isolation unit of the hospital.

Aneek R Haque, Hassan MS Azim and Muntasir Uddin Ahmed with Niaz Mahmood appeared for compensation claimants while Rokanuddin Mahmud from Switzerland, Tanjib-ul Alam from London and Mustafizur Rahman Khan in Dhaka defended the hospital authorities during the online hearing.

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