Dhaka – Bangladeshi garment owners’ has no way but to demolish the building where their association office is housed in Dhaka’s central Kawran Bazar as the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking review of demolition order by the High Court.
A three-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha rejected the petition filed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The headquarters of the association popularly known as BGMEA building was built on a prime location on a city lake in violation of the Wetlands Protection Act nearly two decades ago.
In its latest decision, the apex court however asked the BGMEA authorities to submit an application before it seeking time for demolishing the building.
Defence lawyer Barrister Imtiaz Moinul Islam said the building must be demolished but the SC will give some time to the BGMEA authorities for demolishing the structure.
A three-year time is likely to be sought, the lawyer said.
The Supreme Court in November last year released the full text of the verdict upholding the High Court’s judgment that asked the authorities to demolish the 15-storiey building on the Hatirjhhel immediately at its own cost.
Otherwise, Rajuk will do it within 90 days of receiving the order and realise the cost from BGMEA.
The BGMEA filed a review of the verdict.
Then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the BGMEA building in 1998. Construction of the building was completed in eight years. The then Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, opened the building in 2006.
The High Court, in October 2010, issued a rule asking why the building should not be demolished 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 demolition of the building as it was constructed in violation of environmental laws.