DUBAI: Three foreigners, including a Pakistani bus driver, were today jailed for three years and fined in connection with the death of a four-year-old Indian schoolgirl who had died apparently of suffocation after falling asleep inside a school bus in October last year.
The Abu Dhabi Court of Misdemeanour sentenced Filipina bus attendant F A, Pakistani bus driver A L, and Lebanese school employee L A, to three years in jail in addition to a 20,000Dirham (USD 5,444) fine each for negligence, Gulf News reported.
The incident had occurred in October last year when victim Nizahaa Ala'a, a KG1 student, was found dead in her school bus around three hours after the vehicle had reached the school.
The incident had left her family and school in shock and grief, raising concerns about the safety of children using these services.
The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the victim found that she was found with bruises on the internal left side of her head. These were likely caused by falling or hitting her head, he told the court earlier.
The order for closure of the Al Worood Academy Private School still stands and the institution will have to pay 150,000 Dirham (USD 40,836) in total for charges include causing the wrongful death of the child and endangerment of schoolchildren on board its buses.
The Indian transport company owner R A, will serve a sentence of six months in addition to a fine of 500,000 dirham (USD 136,122) for hiring unlicensed personnel.
F A admitted to prosecutors that she had failed to conduct a thorough check of the bus including its back seats before she ordered the driver to lock the vehicle. In turn, A L told the court that he was given instructions prohibiting him from making contact with the students, according to court records.
Girl's father Naseer Ahmad is from Coorg in Karnataka andhis wife is from Kannur district in Kerala.
The verdict is subject to appeal.