A full bench of the Appellate Division has stayed the High Court's order for paying compensation of Tk30 lakh to each family of the four victims who died in a fire at the United Hospital in Dhaka.
A six-member appellate bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Thursday disposed of the appeal against the High Court's order to pay compensation.
At the same time, the court suggested hearing the writ petitions in any writ bench of the High Court. The court said the bench would have the freedom to make any order as per the law.
According to the lawyers, the compensation order of Tk30 lakh – for each of the four families – issued by the High Court was stayed as per the order of the Appellate Division. As a result, the United Hospital does not have to pay any compensation at present.
Supreme Court lawyers and members of the victims' families filed four separate writ petitions seeking directions to provide appropriate compensation.
Following the hearing on July 15, a virtual High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim directed the United Hospital authorities to pay Tk30 lakh as compensation to the affected families within 15 days.
However, the writ has not been settled yet.
After the United Hospital authorities appealed for a stay order on providing compensation, the Virtual Chamber of the Appellate Division on July 21 stayed the High Court's order and sent the matter to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing. In addition, the applicant (hospital authorities) was asked to regularly apply for leave to appeal.
The hearing on Thursday was a continuation of it.
Barristers Rokon Uddin Mahmud and Mostafizur Rahman Khan were in favour of United Hospital. The petitioners were represented by AM Amin Uddin, Barrister Anik R Haque, Barrister Hasan MS Azim, Barrister Muntasir Ahmed and Niaz Muhammad Mahbub.
A writ petition was filed on July 30 seeking necessary directions to investigate and demand compensation for the deaths of five people in the AC blast at Covid-19 Isolation Unit of United Hospital in the capital's Gulshan.
Following the court's order on the writ petition, the High Court sought separate reports from the IG of the police, fire brigade authorities and Rajuk (Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha) on the incident.
Later, three reports submitted to the court revealed the negligence of the hospital authorities.
The fire broke out on the night of May 27 at the Corona Isolation Unit of the hospital. Later the fire service brought the fire under control. Five dead bodies were later recovered from the spot.
The dead included four men and a woman. They are Reazul Alam, 45, Khodeja Begum, 60, Verun Anthony Paul, 64, Md Monir Hossain, 65, and Md Mahbub, 50.
On June 3, a relative of a patient who burnt to death filed a case with the Gulshan Police Station against the hospital authorities alleging "death due to negligence."