Compensate Gazipur worker with Tk 1 lakh

HC directs Prothom Alo

The High Court yesterday directed the Prothom Alo to give Tk 1 lakh as compensation to a female worker of Apex Footwear Limited in Gazipur within a month for damaging her dignity by misreporting of information about her abortion.

The court observed that the newspaper authorities have to give the money to Hamida Akter as compensation as her dignity was damaged due to the report published on May 10, Deputy Attorney General Tapas Kumar Biswas told The Daily Star.

An HC bench of Justice Qazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman passed the order with disposing of a suomoto rule issued by it on May 10 following the report.

The Prothom Alo report said Hamida who was pregnant suddenly became sick at the factory on May 9 and sought leave from her superviser but he did not grant it. The report also said when her condition deteriorated, she went to a toilet and became senseless and "gave birth to a child there". She "along with the baby" was taken to Safipur Modern Hospital and "the baby was declared dead," said the report.

On May 11 the daily published another report 

along with a rejoinder from the company and a correction saying that some information of the May 10 report was not correct. The report also said statements about birth of the baby in the toilet and disapproval of the leave were not found true.

However, following the May 10 report, the HC in the suomoto rule asked three Apex officials to explain about the incident before it on May 24.

The three Apex officials, including Managing Director Syed Nasim Manzur, appeared before the HC on Sunday and said that they had taken proper measures for Hamida's treatment. They also told the court that Hamida did not apply for any leave and the factory had earlier given her maternity benefits before she had given birth to her first child.

The court later exempted them from appearance before the court.

Meanwhile, the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Kaliakoir upazila submitted a probe report before the HC yesterday saying that Hamida did not give birth to any child. She was pregnant and she accidentally had an abortion.

Based on the clarification from the daily and the probe report, the HC passed the order.



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