The Supreme Court also asked the petitioners to dispose of the four writs with the regular bench of the High Court
The top court has asked the petitioners to take the appeals filed over the payment of compensations to the families of United Hospital fire before a regular High Court bench.
On Thursday, the six-member Appellate Division bench lead by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain gave the order following a virtual hearing four appeal writs filed by the United Hospital authorities challenging the High Court’s order.
On July 15, a virtual High Court directed United Hospital authorities to pay Tk30 lakh as initial compensation each to the families four persons who died after a fire broke out at the hospital’s isolation unit on May 27.
Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan and Barrister Tanjib-ul Alam argued for United Hospital.
The writ petitioners were represented by Barrister Hasan MS Azim, Barrister Aneek R Haque, Barrister Muntasir Uddin Ahmed, Barrister Syed Redwan Hasan, Advocate Niaz Muhammad Mahboob, and Barrister Shahida Sultana Shila.
The court has ordered the petitioners to dispose of the writs at a regular High Court bench, Advocate Niaz Muhammad Mahboob told Dhaka Tribune.
Following the High Court's directive, the Supreme Court’s chamber judge Justice Md Nuruzzaman on July 21 stayed the High Court order till August 16 after a virtual hearing of appeals filed by United Hospital.
On June 29, Advocate Niaz Muhammad Mahboob told Dhaka Tribune the High Court had ordered both parties to come to an amicable settlement regarding compensation by July 12.
The court also asked the police to complete the investigation of a case filed by a victim’s family.
Later, the hospital authorities sent letters to the victims’ families, leading to meetings between the parties.
Four out of the five families of victims did not agree to the hospital's proposal on compensation; only the family of victim Monir Hossain agreed to the Tk20 lakh compensation proposal.
After the hearing, the court asked United Hospital to pay Tk30 lakh as compensation to each family of the four victims within 15 days, the lawyer added.
A Fire Service and Civil Defence probe report submitted to the High Court on June 15 said effective measures could have saved the lives of the patients who died in the fire at the Covid-19 unit of United Hospital on May 27.
The report also mentioned negligence on the part of the hospital authorities in preventing and controlling the fire.