The High Court yesterday issued a rule asking the respondents to explain within four weeks why they should not be directed to pay compensation to the families of Barguna school victims.
Third-grader Mansura, 9, daughter of Najir Hossain Hawlader, died and at least 10 of her classmates of Chhotobaghi PK Government Primary School in Taltali upazila were injured on Saturday as chunks of plaster from the ceiling fell on them.
The HC asked the respondents to show cause why their failure to ensure safety and security should not be declared illegal.
The secretary to the primary and mass education ministry, the deputy commissioner and the district education officer of Barguna, the Taltali upazila education officer and the president of the governing body of Chhotobaghi PK Government Primary School have been made respondents.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Md Istiak Ahmed, a Supreme Court lawyer.
Barrister M Mainul Islam appeared for the petitioner, while Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
Two other SC lawyers -- Hasan Tarek Polash and Md Kawsar -- have also submitted another writ petition to the HC, seeking its directive upon the government to pay Tk 1 crore to the family of Mansura and Tk 10 lakh to each of the families of the 10 injured students.
The petitioners yesterday requested the court to order the authorities to take steps for proper treatment of the injured.
In the petition, they urged the court to issue a rule, asking the authorities to explain why they should not be directed to conduct a survey to identify the vulnerable structures of government and non-government schools across the country.
The HC may hear the petition today.
In another development, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Md Tajul Islam yesterday directed its officials to identify risky primary school buildings and ensure stern punishment of those responsible for irregularities during construction of Chhotobaghi PK Government Primary School.
The school building will be reconstructed, the minister said while talking to reporters at the secretariat.
He added that officials of the Local Government Engineering Department had been assigned to identify the responsible people and bring them to book.
Meanwhile, the primary and mass education ministry has formed a two-member committee to probe the incident, says a ministry press release.
The probe committee members -- Directorate of Primary Education Director Saber Hossain and Deputy Secretary Mahbubur Rashid -- have been asked to submit the report within three working days.