The High Court said on Sunday it will wait until identification of the bodies recovered from the burnt factory in Rupganj before giving its ruling on compensation to the families of the victims.
The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim described Thursday’s massive fire at Hashem Foods factory a as terrible in responding to a writ petition seeking compensation for proper treatment of the injured and to families of the deceased.
At least 52 people died and many were injured in the fire, one of the country’s worst factory fire.
The writ petition was filed on behalf of Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Legal and Services Trust, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers’ Association (BELA) and Safety and Rights Society.
Lawyers ZI Khan Panna, Sara Hossain, SM Rezaul Karim, Anik R Haque and Shahinuzzaman stood for the petition. Deputy Attorney General Samarendra Nath Biswas represented the state.
After the lawyer Sara Hossain presented the writ, the court said that the concern was legitimate, but the issues needed to be given a reasonable time for the remedy.
The judge said of the 52 bodies found, only one was handed over to family as it has been identified. The process would take at least 21 days and the compensation amount could be determined once the bodies were identified.
About the transparency of the investigation Justice Enayetur said that the court was observing how it goes.
During this time, the HC also asked the Attorney General to contact the Health Secretary and the Labour Secretary to look into the treatment of the injured.
The petition sought directions to pay Tk 1 crore to the families of each worker killed in the fire and Tk 35 lakh to each injured. However, Tk 10 lakh for the deceased and Tk 5 lakh for the injured have been sought as interim compensation.
The fire broke out at the factory located in Karnagop area of Rupganj upazila on July 8 at 6 pm.
Eighteen units of fire service including Demra and Kanchan brought the terrible fire under control after a 29-hour effort. However, 52 lives were lost during this period. Many workers were injured.
A case has been registered under sections 302, 326, 325, 323, 324 and 307 for murder and murder accusation. Eight people, including Sajeeb Group Chairman, Abul Hashem were arrested in the case.
On July 10, a Narayanganj court remanded the eight people for four days.