The Appellate Division of Supreme Court on Sunday stayed a High Court order that had directed the authorities of United Hospital to pay Tk 30 lakh each to the families of four out of five victims killed in a fire at the hospital on May 27, 2020.
Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Md Nuruzzaman passed the order.
Advocate Md Mostafizur Rahman stood for the hospital authorities while Advocate Muntasir Uddin and Anik R Haque represented the writ petitioner.
On January 11, the High Court ordered the authorities of United Hospital to pay the compensation to the victims’ families within 15 days.
It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why directives should not be given to the authorities concerned to provide Tk 15 crore to the families of the victims as compensation.
Later, the hospital authorities filed a review appeal with the SC challenging the HC order.
Also read:5 killed in United Hospital fire
Earlier on July 14,last year, the HC directed the hospital authorities to pay the four victims Tk 30 lakh as compensation.
On July 21, 2020, the Chamber Judge Justice Md Nuruzzaman stayed the High Court order.
The Appellate Division on August 20, last year, extended the stay order on a High Court directive that had asked to pay Tk 30 lakh to each of the families of four out of five victims.
The court did not issue any order over the family of Monir Hossain, who was also killed in the fire, as they settled the matter through out-of-court negotiations with the hospital authorities.
On May 27, 2020, a fire broke out at the coronavirus isolation unit of the United Hospital that killed four men and one woman.
A case was filed against the hospital authorities with Gulshan Police Station on charge of "death by negligence".
Strong collaboration between Regulators is needed to bridge the gap between Financial Statements of Banks in Bangladesh. The regulators in banking sector to adjust the requirements between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Local Laws and Regulations to repair the gaps while preparing the Financial Statements of Banks in Bangladesh.
They also identified number of differences and deviations from IFRS in notes to Financial Statements of Banks in the areas of Financial Statements' components and presentation, cash and cash equivalents, cash flow statement, investment in debt securities - Initial recognition and reclassification, provisioning the loans and advances, recovery against impaired loan, etc.
In case of conflict arising, general understanding is that the local laws from primary regulators would prevail. As a result, there are differences, they observed.
To be fully compliant with IFRS, a cross regulators ‘Task Force’ may be formed who would review and identify the gaps between IFRS, local laws and regulations. The Task Force would also review the new standards, understand implications while engage various regulatory bodies with a view to develop an implementation plan of the standards.
Credible and compliant financial statements are critical for Bangladesh at a stage when the country is graduating out of the Least Developed Countries grouping. In this connection ICAB together with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) along with other regulators, could develop a road map to align accounting practices in Bangladesh with IFRS, they suggested.
As the Chief Guest, Kazi Sayedur Rahman, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said confidence of local and foreign investors and the depositors of banks and NBFIs are largely dependent on the accounting system of a country.
“If there is any deviation from the International standards, specially IFRS, these should be addressed first. Transparency, accountability and true fair information of financial statements definitely increase the level of confidence that can be placed in them. Chartered Accountants are instrumental by maintaining compliance to the standards applicable in accounting,” he further said.
He added BB will sit together with ICAB and FRC to narrow down the gaps between the local laws and the international standards particularly IFRS so that a congenial atmosphere would be created to attract foreign direct investment.
“As per the Bank Company Act, auditors are performing external audits of Banks. The central Bank expects that the external auditors would provide information about gross violation or deviation of any Banks in their transactions. External Auditors should diagnose nthe problems of banks and forecast the probable financial disaster so that BB could take necessary action to save the bank from the disaster,” he added.
Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, Managing Director & CEO of Agrani Bank Ltd said IFRS plays a pivotal role to make the accounting language more effective. “Chartered Accountants have the responsibility to ensure the compliance of IFRS in the accounting systems so that it would be accepted by all. Braving the pandemic threats Bangladesh is advancing as one of the fastest growing countries with $305 billion GDP and 43 billion dollars foreign exchange reserve,” he added.
ICAB President Muhamudul Hasan Khusru FCA said Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, BB, FRC and other regulatory bodies made it compulsory for listed entities, banking companies and other financial institutions to comply with IFRS.
Hundreds of polytechnic students took to the Chattagram city streets on Sunday to press their four-point demand, including the resumption of classes and exams.
The students blockaded roads in GEC intersection and Nasirabad of the port city in protest.
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Md Shahinuzzaman, Khulshi Police Station officer-in-charge, said: “The students staged rallies and formed human chains to voice their demand. Although the protest brought traffic to a standstill temporarily, it ended peacefully.”
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However, the students also demanded the withdrawal of all extra fees and reduction of semester fees in all private polytechnic institutes by 50% and addition of more seats in technical universities – including Dhaka University of Engineering and Technology – by 2021.
On Friday, the government again extended the closure of educational institutions until January 30 as the Covid-19 situation shows no sign of improvement.
The education ministry said that the decision would be effective for all educational institutions, except for the Qawmi madrasas.
The government shut schools and educational institutions on March 17 last year after the country confirmed its first Covid-19 cases on March 8. The closure was extended several times, most recently until January 16 this year.
Two separate cases were filed and five people arrested early Sunday over vandalizing vehicles of law enforcers and arson attack during municipality polls in Gaibandha.
A total of 41 people including independent Mayoral candidate Anowar-ul- Sarowar, and 150 more unnamed people were made accused in the cases, said Officer-in-Charge of Sadar Police Station Md Mahfuzar Rahman.
Sub-Inspector Moslem of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) battalion-13 and Sub-Inspector Mottadir Rahman of Sadar Police Station filed the cases and five people were arrested after conducting drives early Sunday, he said.
“We are operating drives to arrest the other accused in the cases,” the OC said adding that extra police force have been deployed in the municipality area to fend-off further trouble.
Earlier, eight people, including a policeman, were injured on Saturday evening as the law enforcers and locals locked into a violent clash in Gaibandha municipality over vote counting.
The clash broke out as local people seized the ballot boxes of Purbo Komornai polling station of the municipality’ s Ward 9.
The election officials had tried to move the voting equipment and ballot boxes to the district Election Commission office before counting the votes, locals alleged.
Meanwhile, police said local people attacked the polling officials and police as they were taking the voting equipment and ballot papers to the district Election Commission office after counting the votes.
As the situation started to get worse, police fired tear gas in self-defence.
Then the protesters allegedly vandalised and torched four vehicles of police and Rapid Action Battalion.
The situation was brought under control after 8pm.
Voting in the second phase elections of 60 municipalities was held on Saturday amid a few incidents of violence and irregularities.
Bangladesh is seeing a sharp decline in the number of new Covid-19 cases over the past week.
The health authorities announced the detection of 569 new cases in 24 hours until Sunday morning.
During this time, 23 more coronavirus deaths were recorded, pushing up the country’s death tally to 7,906. The mortality rate now stands at 1.5 percent, according to a handout from the Directorate General of Health Services.
With the new cases, the caseload now stands at 527,632. So far, 472,437 of the patients (89.5 percent) have recovered including 681 in the past 24 hours.
As per the latest data, the daily infection rate dropped to 4.23 percent.
The country recorded a daily infection rate of 4.90 percent on January 14, 8.29 percent on January 10, 7.52 percent on January 4, and 8.18 percent on January 1.
Bangladesh reported its first cases on March 8 and the first death on March 18
Meanwhile, there has been no let-up in the number of tests conducted. So far, 3,457,453 tests have been conducted – 13,446 in the last 24 hours.
The confirmed cases of coronavirus globally surpassed 94.4 million with over 2.02 million deaths till Sunday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University (JHU).
The US remained the worst-hit country, with 395,650 deaths and 23,743,788 cases.
In late 2020, the coronavirus pandemic entered its deadliest phase yet in the United States, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.
The number of daily confirmed cases continued to race out of control, rising above 200,000 and then creeping closer to 300,000. Daily deaths sometimes surpassed 4,000. By mid-January, the total American death toll had crossed 375,000, with no immediate improvement in sight.
Also Read: Pakistan approves Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
Cities and states sought to scale up their vaccination operations, opening centers designed to inoculate thousands of people a day in a single location. Some of the sites offered drive-thru injections. In New York City, the centers were scheduled to be open around the clock, the AP report says.
The pandemic, which had been tamed in some places over the summer, came roaring back in the final months of last year.
Brazil registered 1,050 deaths from Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 209,296, its Ministry of Health reported on Saturday.
Additionally, another 61,567 cases were registered in the last 24 hours, bringing the national total to 8,455,059.
Hospitals in Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, are overwhelmed. Since Thursday, they have reported a shortage of oxygen tanks. Family members of patients have had to take to the streets in search of oxygen.
India’s total caseload reached 10,542,841 while the death toll surpassed 152,093 as of Sunday morning.
On January 7, the government approved the emergency use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The approval will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing the vaccine, Mohammad Salahuddin, deputy director of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), said.
On December 28, Bangladeshi pharmaceutical company Globe Biotech got approval from the DGDA for manufacturing Covid-19 vaccine for clinical trials.
Also Read: Pfizer temporarily reduces European deliveries of vaccine
Dr Mohammad Mohiuddin, Manager of Globe Biotech Limited (Head of Quality Operation), said after completing the trials, they would start supplying vaccines following protocols.
“Hopefully, we will be able to begin clinical trials in January. It will take five months to finish. The vaccine will be available by June if we can begin the clinical trials this month.”
Bangladesh approved the emergency use of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on Jan 7.
This will allow Beximco Pharmaceuticals to bring doses from the Serum Institute of India Pvt Ltd, which is manufacturing the vaccine.
The government signed an agreement with Serum Institute on December 13 for procuring the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Under the deal, Bangladesh will import 30 million doses of the vaccine in the next six months.
“If everything goes well, then we’ll get the vaccines in mid-January,” Health Minister Maleques said.
Health minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday reassured the people that there won’t be any problem in storing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines.
“Bangladesh currently has the capacity to store up to 150 million vaccines. So, there won’t be any issues when 40-50 million doses come from India,” he told the media after a meeting of the ministry on vaccination and distribution.
Minister Maleque is fully prepared for the vaccination drive. “Vaccination will be carried out from the public hospitals,” he said.
“Each government hospital has been prepared to preserve 425,000 doses. Another 71,000 doses can be stored in the five-six ice freezers at the hospitals,” the minister said.