The High Court today directed the United Hospital authorities to give Tk 30 lakh to each of the families of four victims -- out of five -- who were killed in a fire at its isolation unit on May 27.
The hospital authorities have been directed to pay the money as an initial payment to the victims' families in 15 days after receiving the copy of the HC order.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim came up with the directive after hearing virtually five separate writ petitions filed on behalf of the victims' families, seeking initial payment from the hospital authorities.
Advocate Niaz Mohammad Mahboob, who moved one of the writ petitions, told The Daily Star that the family of Md Monir Hossain, one of the five victims who were killed in the fire, has already been given Tk 20 lakh in compensation through a compromise by the United Hospital.
The hospital authorities will have to give Tk 30 lakh to remaining four victims' families each in line with the HC directive in 15 days, he said.
Victims who died in the tragic fire were -- Vernon Anthony Paul (75), Riyajul Alam (45), Khodeja Begum (70), Md Monir Hossain (75) and Md Mahbub (50).
Advocate Niaz Mohammad today said the HC on June 29 directed the United Hospital authorities to provide compensation through amicable settlement to families of the victims.
But, no compromise took place between the hospital authorities and the four victims' families, he added.
Advocate Muntasir Uddin and several other lawyers appeared for the writ petitioners, while Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, Barrister Mahfuzur Rahman Khan and Barrister Kazi Ershadul Alam argued for United Hospital during the virtual hearing today.
The petitions were filed on different days last month and today (July 15) seeking HC directives on the authorities concerned to give appropriate compensation to each family of the victims and to take necessary action against the persons responsible for the incident.
Following an HC order, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (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.