The High Court on Monday directed the authorities of United Hospital in the capital to pay Tk30 lakh in compensation to four families each within 15 days over last year's fire accident at the hospital.
On Monday, the bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam gave the order.
The court also issued a rule, asking the hospital authorities and others concerned why each of the four affected families would not receive a compensation of Tk15 crore.
But it gave no order on victim Md Monir Hossain's family as they had already received compensation through an out-of-court settlement with the hospital authorities.
Mostafizur Rahman Khan stood for United Hospital while Anik R Haque, Hasan MS Azim, Muntasir Uddin Ahmed, Niaz Mohammad Mahabub and Shahida Sultana represented the writ petitioners.
Five people – Riazul Alam, 45, Khodeja Begum, 70, Bharnon Anthony Paul, 74, Md Monir Hossain, 75, and Md Mahbub, 50 – were put on life support after they had sustained injuries in the fire that broke out at the isolation unit of the hospital on 27 May last year. They later succumbed to their injuries.
On 30 May, Supreme Court lawyer Niaz Mahmood and the victims' families filed four writ petitions, seeking a court directive to properly compensate the families.
After hearing the petitions, on 15 July, the virtual High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim directed the United Hospital authorities to pay Tk30 lakh in compensation to each family for the time being within 15 days.
However, on 21 July, the Appellate Division chamber judge stayed the High Court order and sent the matter to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for a hearing. This came in response to a petition filed by the hospital authorities seeking a stay order on the High Court order.
On 20 August, a six-member appeal bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain upheld the stay order and disposed of the petition of the hospital authorities.
At the same time, the petitioners were allowed to present their writs to any regular writ bench of the High Court.
Later, the petitioners presented the writs to the bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam for a hearing.