Ten-year-old Alvira Rahman died after being trapped in a ‘faulty elevator’ at a residential building in Dhaka. After her death, questions are being raised about what legal recourses are available to the victim’s family.
Lawyers say there is no legal option other than seeking damages. However, the amount of compensation depends on the court.
Supreme Court lawyer Shameem Sardar says that the amount of money will depend on social status, lifestyle, and income of the plaintiff.
“The amount of damages has to be mentioned when filing the case. The court later decides whether to increase or decrease the amount or to keep it unchanged,” he adds.
Alvira was critically injured after being trapped in a lift door of multi-story building ‘Green Peace’ at Shantinagar’s Chamelibagh on the night of March 29. Doctors pronounced her dead when she was rushed to Square Hospital.
The elevator’s door had shut abruptly when Alvira’s family got in, trapping the child. She was hit in the head when the lift went up.
Her family says the lift’s sensor was not working properly during the time of the accident and has accused the building authorities of negligence.
Alvira’s uncle Rafi Ishtiaq Pial, replying to a question about taking legal measures, said that they are currently not thinking about anything as the family was in shock after losing the child.
“The building authorities are responsible for the accident. We lost our child due to their negligence,” he added.
Police say they will take legal steps if the victim’s family files a case.
Building authorities ‘indifferent,’ lift still unrepaired
The elevator, in which Alvira lost her life, is yet to be repaired. The building’s residents say the sensors of six lifts in the building have been dysfunctional for a long time. The building authorities did not pay heed to their complaints.
There are only three liftmen for the six elevators used by residents of 180 flats. Ranjan Roy, the building’s staff-in-charge, says the liftmen work in the six lifts from 8am to 10pm daily.
“There was no liftman in the elevator in which the accident had taken place,” he says. “The lifts are examined once every month.”
He claims they were unaware of the lift’s sensor not working properly.
Alvira’s uncle Pial say the building authorities have ignored their requests for repairing the lifts for the last seven years.
“We have been telling them to provide liftmen but they did not. The building authorities only use the liftmen to buy things from the market,” he says.
According to Pial, another child was trapped in the lift four years ago. “The only reason for these accidents is negligence,” he says.
A number of the building’s residents, who declined to be named, say the elevators have technical glitches. “It is an old issue,” a woman says. “The elevators are not properly maintained. The building authorities pay no heed to our requests for maintenance.”
No one from the building authorities was available for comments.
Motijheel division’s Deputy Police Commissioner Md Anwar Hossain says they received no complaint from Alvira’s family. “We will take necessary steps if they file a complaint.”
This article was first published on banglatribune.com