The High Court today upheld a lower court verdict that ordered the government to give Tk 17.11 crore in compensation to the victim families of a 2003 launch capsize in the Meghna river.
Families of the dead victims of MV Nasrin -1 capsize, will get Tk 10 lakh each and the injured will get Tk 1 lakh each, the HC ruled.
The bench of Justice Syed Md Ziaul Karim and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain came up with the verdict after rejecting a revision petition filed by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority against the trial court verdict.
After the HC verdict, Advocate ZI Khan Panna, a lawyer for Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) which had sought Tk 28.93 crore in compensation for the victims, told The Daily Star that that the HC ordered to give Tk 10 lakh each to the family of the dead victims and Tk 1 lakh each to the injured persons.
However, Ishrat Hasan, a lawyer for launch authorities, told reporters that they will file an appeal with the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division against the verdict.
MV Nasrin-1 capsized on July 8, 2003 at the Padma, Meghna and Dakatia confluence in Chandpur leaving 110 people dead, about 200 missing and many others injured.
The triple-decker vessel was on its way to Lalmohan in Bhola from Dhaka with about 700 passengers on board. The owner of the launch died in the incident.
The same year, deputy commissioner of Chandpur published a list of 400 people who were affected by the incident of capsize.
Following the list, the shipping-disaster trustee board gave Tk 15,000 to Tk 20,000 to the families of the deceased's and injured persons as compensation.
In 2004, BLAST, on behalf of the affected people, filed a case with the Third Joint District Judges’ Court of Dhaka claiming that the given compensation was not adequate. More than Tk 28.93 crore was demanded in the case, where the number of deceased was mentioned 121.
The case was sent to Seventh Joint District Judge’s Court in 2012, and the court gave a verdict on February 2, 2016.
In the verdict, the court ordered the government to give Tk 17.11 crore to the affected people within 60 days. On October 24, 2016, BIWTA and the defendant filed a revision petition with the HC against the lower court verdict.
Dr Kamal Hossain appeared for BLAST, while Advocate Abdul Baset Majumder argued for the government.