Judicial

AD sets Jun. 28 to hear appeal against HC’s declaration of commercial spots in Hatirjheel as illegal

The chamber judge of the Appellate Division has not stayed a judgment of the High Court declaring all hotels and restaurants allotted in the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project area illegal.

The leave to appeal filed by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) against the High Court judgment will be heard before a bench of the Appellate Division on June 28.

Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order to this effect on Sunday.

Attorney General AM Amin Uddin appeared for Rajuk, while senior lawyer Manzil Morshed represented the writ petitioner.

Earlier, Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a rights organisation, filed a writ petition with the High Court as public interest litigation annexing a news report published on 1 August in 2018.

Later, the High Court bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Rajik Al Jalil declared the operative part of the verdict disposing of a rule in this regard on 30 June 2021.

The same court released a 55 page verdict with four directives and nine recommendations, including the eviction of all commercial establishments from the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project area within 60 days.

In the full text verdict, the HC declared the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project in the capital a 'public trust property' and all commercial establishments there, including hotels, restaurants, and shops, in the project area, illegal.

The court cancelled the allotment of all hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments in the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project area and asked the authorities to remove all kinds of commercial establishments from the project area within 60 days of receiving a copy of the verdict.

In the full-text verdict, the High Court suggested forming a 'Hatirjheel Lake Preserve, Development and Management Authority' under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in order to preserve, develop, and operate the Hatirjheel-Begunbari project.

It also suggested appointing BUET's engineering department and the 24th Engineering Construction Brigade of the Bangladesh Army as permanent consultants for the project.

It asked that international standard underground public toilets and potable water be arranged in the project area for people to use.

The court also directed that the water taxi service currently in operation be stopped and recommended to create side roads, bicycle lanes and separate lanes for the physically challenged. To make the lake a fish sanctuary. The Hatirjheel-Begunbari project is named after Sir Jagadish Chandra Bose, the famed Bengali scientist who was a contemporary as well as a collaborator of Albert Einstein.

The High Court also recommended that the cost of conservation, development and operation of the entire Hatirjheel and Begunbari projects be allocated from the revenue budget.

Source: United News of Bangladesh