Hearing deferred on BGMEA's review petition on verdict ordering to demolish office building
Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-03-02 11:30:51.0 BdST Updated: 2017-03-02 11:32:27.0 BdST
The hearing of a petition by Bangladesh's top apparel business body for a review of the top court verdict ordering to demolish its multi-storey office building has been deferred.
The 16-storey office building of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) was built in violation of the Wetlands Protection Act nearly two decades ago endangering wetlands in the capital Dhaka.
In 1998, then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set the foundation stone of the building. The construction works began the same year. The building was inaugurated in 2006 by Khaleda Zia, the then prime minister.
The High Court ordered it to be taken down in 2011 as the building was constructed in violation of the law. The Appellate Division in June last year upheld the verdict.
As a last ditch attempt to save its office building, the BGMEA filed a petition for a review of the top court's verdict, which was supposed to heard on Thursday.
The three-member appeals bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha deferred the hearing as Attorney General Mahbubey Alam pleaded for more time.
In October 2010, the High Court issued a rule asking why the building should not be razed.
The rule came after a lawyer presented a report carried by an English language daily on the building.
The court had then sought explanations from the secretary of the public works ministry, RAJUK, BGMEA president, district administration and Dhaka metro police commissioner.
In 2011, the High Court ordered the structure to be taken down as it found the building had been constructed in violation of laws geared to protecting wetlands.
“The BGMEA Bhaban is like a cancer in the Hatirjheel project and if the building is not taken down immediately, it will infect not just Hatirjheel but the entire Dhaka City,” the court said in its verdict.
It also said ‘the reason behind sparing a certain influential quarter with strong financial backup beyond the reach of the law is completely unacceptable’.
The full verdict was available two years later, when the BGMEA moved the Appellate Division against the ruling.
On Jun 2, 2016, the Supreme Court turned down the petition and upheld the High Court's verdict.
The full verdict was published in November, where the top court said if the BGMEA fails to carry out the demolition, the city authority RAJUK will be instructed to start demolishing the 16-storey building in 90 days and then realise the cost from the trade body.
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