Fifth Special Judges Court pronounced that it undoubtedly found Bangladesh Railway Senior Sub-Assistant Engineer Jahangir Alam and Assistant Engineers Md Nasir Uddin and Md Zafar Ahmed Shaki and SR House contractor and Proprietor Md Shafiqul Islam guilty under section 304 of penal code of culpable homicide.
The court said the engineers and contractor showed absolute negligence in their duties. While constructing a new well, the contractor pumped water from an abandoned shaft into a new well with a submersible pump, leaving the shaft open. Subsequently, Jihad fell into the open shaft.
The convicts were also fined Tk2 lakh each, defaulting on which would result an extra two years of prison.
On December 26, 2014 Jihad fell into an abandoned 600-feet deep tube-well shaft, 17 inches in diameter, near his house in Shahjahanpur Railway Colony while playing with his friends.
His body was pulled out by volunteers after the fire service called off a near 23-hour long search.
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Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of Dhaka’s Fifth Special Judges Court said culpable homicide not amounting to murder is punishable with life imprisonment, or imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine, if the act is conducted with the knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death or to cause such bodily injury that is likely to cause death.
“It is an act of negligence by a group of people who did not discharge their duties as assigned by the Bangladesh Railway.
“This open shaft is dangerous for anyone, even adults,” the court observed.
The court found the engineers utterly negligent in their duty of running shaft maintenance. One engineer even gave a contractor permission to extract water from the old shaft illegally.
Even the electricity used to run the pump was illegally taken from the Railway electricity line.
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Assistant Engineers Dipak Kumar Bhawmik and Saiful Islam were acquitted from the charge since their involvement could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt.
The plaintiff, Jihad’s father Md Nasir Fakir, said he was not satisfied with the sentence and would appeal to the High Court against the acquittal of the two engineers.
The convicts will also appeal the verdict.