The High Court yesterday issued a contempt of court rule against three government high officials for not paying Tk 20 lakh as compensation to the parents of four-year-old Jihad, who fell into a deep shaft in Dhaka's Shahjahanpur area in 2014, in line with its directive.
The three officials are: Md Amzad Hossain, director general of Bangladesh railway; Brig Gen Ali Ahmad Khan, director general of Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence, and its director (operation and maintenance) Maj Shakil Newaz.
In the rule, the HC asked them to explain in four weeks why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them for not complying with its order over paying Tk 20 lakh as compensation to Jihad's parents.
The bench of Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice KM Kamrul Kader came up with the rule after hearing a contempt of court petition filed by the Children's Charity Bangladesh Foundation, a rights organisation.
Petitioner's lawyer Barrister Abdul Halim told The Daily Star that following a writ petition, the HC on February 18, 2016, had delivered its short judgment directing the respondents to pay compensation to Jihad's family but the court had not specified any amount of the compensation.
The HC on October 8 last year released the full verdict of the case asking the respondents to pay Tk 20 lakh as compensation to his parents.
As per the direction, Bangladesh Railway and Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence were supposed to pay Tk 10 lakh each within 90 days, he said, adding that the respondents had not paid the money although the time period expired on January 10.
Their action of not paying the compensation is tantamount to contempt of court, he said.
Jihad fell into an unprotected well shaft while playing with other children in Shahjahanpur Railway Colony on December 26, 2014.
His body was pulled out by a group of volunteers the following day, shortly after the government agencies called off the rescue bid, saying there was no sign of the boy inside the well.