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Monday, August 11, 2008

Press Release: HRCBM's Writ petition against Vested Property Law at Bangladesh

HRCBM- National Chapter

[An ‘NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations’]
Telephone: 88029557590, 88027119977 Fax: 8802 9568589
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Dhaka, 11 August 2008 :

Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), an NGO in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, has by its Bangladesh Chapter‘s Secretary General Mr Rabindranath Trivedi, who is an ex additional secretary to the Government of Bangladesh, filed a writ petition to the High Court Division bearing Writ Petition No 6092 of 2008 on Sunday the 10th August 2008.
According to the reliable source that the bench constituted with Hon’ble Justice Mr. Khademul Islam and Hon’ble Justice Mr Masuk Hossain Ahmed of High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, have received the writ petition for hearing.
The Vested Property Act represents a major source of insecurity and of human rights violation against the Hindu community. It is clear that the Vested Property Act (VPA) is detrimental to minorities and to the religious harmony of Bangladesh.
Former Deputy Attorney General of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and a renowned lawyer Barrister Nikhilesh Dutta will move the writ case on behalf of the petitioner.

It may be recalled that VPA derives from the Enemy Property (Custody and Registration) Order II of 1965, promulgated in Pakistan following a brief war between India and Pakistan in September 1965. This order was directed against the Hindu minority (perceived as an enemy), and was used as an instrument for appropriating land belonging to Hindus accused of supporting India.
After Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan, President of Bangladesh in his Order No-29 of 1972 ,changed the nomenclature to Vested Property Act ,without altering the contain of the law. The Government of Bangladesh has, within the framework of this law, taken possession of property declared to belong to the enemy, by appropriating the property of members of the Hindu minority who had migrated to India, or by appropriating the property of people who were heirs or co –owners Furthermore, to this day, interest groups of political parties in power and individuals continue to appropriate property belonging to the Hindu community, and indeed to do so with the complicity of the authorities and the influential people. In a significant number of cases, Hindus are dispossessed of their property, even when they are the legal owners of such assets. At least two million acres of land have been seized from Hindu landowners under Vested Property Act.