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26 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Deaths in accidents

HC directives expedite compensation process

Muhammad Yeasin
HC directives expedite 
compensation process

Following a recent High Court (HC) order, the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence and the Bangladesh Railway authorities paid a compensation of Tk. 20 lakh to the family of a four-year-old who had died after falling into an abandoned shaft. The boy, Jihad, fell into the shaft while playing near his house at Bangladesh Railway Colony in Dhaka’s Shahjahanpur area on December 26, 2014. The fire service had launched a rescue operation, but called it off after 23 hours the next day. Barely 15 minutes after the operation was called off, a band of volunteers pulled out Jihad’s lifeless body out of the shaft.

A writ petition was filed over the boy’s death in the HC, which found the government agencies to be negligent and ordered them to pay compensation to the victim’s family.

Similarly, the HC recently ordered the authorities of Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan to pay compensation of Tk. 5 lakh to each of the families of two students—Abdul Karim alias Rajib Uddin (18) and Dia Khanam Mim (17)—who were killed in a road accident on Airport Road in Dhaka on July 29.

Besides, the HC had issued separate rules earlier following several writ petitions filed by Supreme Court (SC) lawyers and families of victims to seek damages from the authorities concerned. After final disposal of the rules, the court may direct the authorities concerned for giving compensation to the families of victims, lawyers said.

Barrister Abdul Halim, who moved the writ petition on behalf of Jihad’s family, said the HC verdict had set a good precedent. “This verdict will help families of victims to get compensation easily in the future. It will also help the court to deliver verdicts in compensation cases that are now pending with the HC for disposal,” he added.

Halim also said that in its verdict on the Jihad case the HC had elaborately explained the grounds for families of victims to get compensation. These families can get damages within a short time by filing writ petitions under Article 102 of the Constitution, he added.

Halim further said that under the Tort Act, the victim families can also file cases in the lower courts for compensation. “But this is a lengthy process as it takes a much longer time for disposal of cases filed under the Tort Act,” he added.

Besides, plaintiffs have to give court fees if they want to file cases under Tort Act in the lower judiciary. “However, poor and victim families may find it difficult to arrange money for the court fees. So, a better option is to file public interest litigations under Article 102 to easily get

compensation within a short time,” Hailm explained.

In May 2017, the SC had directed the authorities concerned to pay Tk 50 lakh as compensation to the family of one Shanu Miah from Brahmanbaria’s Kasba upazila. Shanu had died after falling into a sewer through an open manhole in Dhaka’s Paltan area on March 6, 2017. Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) paid Tk 25 lakh and Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) gave the rest of the compensation amount.

In line with the SC order, the HC had formed a three-member committee on May 30 to assess the liabilities and compensation pertaining to the death of Government Titumir College student Rajib Hossain. Rajib had lost his right hand after it got stuck between two speeding buses in Bangla Motor area in Dhaka on April 3. He later died while undergoing treatment.

Following a petition filed by SC lawyer Ruhul Quddus Kazal, the HC on May 8 ordered the bus authorities to pay Tk. 1 crore to Rajib’s family. However, the SC stayed the lower court’s order and asked it to form a committee to evaluate the compensation amount.

Besides, in response to a writ petition over the death of the two students in Dhaka in July, the HC issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why a directive should not be issued on the owner of Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan to give Tk. 2 crore as compensation to each of the families of the two victims.

Another HC rule asking the government why it should not be directed to pay Tk. 30 lakh as compensation for the death of minor boy Ismail Hossain Nirob after he fell into a manhole in the city’s Shyampur area is now pending disposal.

Apart from these, several other petitions related to compensations filed by families of victims and SC lawyers are pending final disposal by the HC. The court is likely to start hearing the petitions in October once the SC reopens after the current vacation.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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