Demolish BGMEA building: SC

02 Jun,2016


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the High Court order that had declared the BGMEA building illegal and asked the government to demolish it within 90 days.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha, passed the order rejecting an appeal filed by Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) authorities.

The three other members of the Appellate Division are Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique and Justice Mirza Hussain Haider.

Lawyer Barrister Rafique-ul Haque and advocate M Kamrul Haque Siddique appeared for BGMEA while Attorney General Mahbube Alam represented the state and advocate Manzil Murshid the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).

Talking to reporters, Manzill Murshid said there is no legal bar towards demolishing the BGMEA building following the order.

On April 3, 2011, an HC bench comprising Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Sheikh M Jakir Hossain declared the BGMEA building illegal.

However, immediately after the verdict, the Appellate Division stayed the HC verdict for six months on April 5 on an appeal filed by the BGMEA authorities.

Later, the Appellate Division extended the stay order several times. That order remained in force in the absence of a full verdict.

The High Court in its full verdict, which was released March 19,2013, declared the Bangladesh Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building illegal and asked the government to demolish it within 90 days.

The court directed the authorities to use the land for public welfare.

Then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on November 28, 1998 laid the foundation stone of the building at Hatirjheel-Begunbari canal beside Karwanbazar in the capital.

On October 8, 2006, then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia inaugurated the building.

A report was published in a national daily on October 2, 2010 focusing on construction of the building without the permission of the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk).

DHM Monir Uddin, a lawyer of the Supreme Court, produced the report before the court. The next day, October 3, the HC issued a suo moto rule asking to explain reasons as to why the order would not be given to dismantle the BGMEA building.

In its full verdict, the court further said Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) had given the land illegally through a written unregistered document to BGMEA in 2001.

The HC said the BGMEA has failed to become the owner of the land as the EPB, which gave BGMEA the land violating the government acquisition rule in 1998, became the owner of the land only in 2006 that was earlier acquired for Railway in 1960.

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