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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bangladesh High Court ordered Rule Nisi on government hearing HRCBM writ on Vested Property Act

The High Court division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh delivers its Rule Nisi upon the Government on the Enemy Property ( Continuance of Emergency Provision) ( Repeal) Act 1974 and subsequently promulgated Arpita Sampatty Protapyan Ain 2001 and cicular, administrative orders.

The order calls upon the respondent to show cause as to why instructions issued in the contents of presidential order 29 of 1972, act 45 and 46 of 1974, ordinance No. 92, 93 of 1976, Arpita Sampatty Protapyan Ain 2001 and circulars issued by government that are in contradiction with the fundamental rights and the charter of declaration of Independence of Bangladesh, 10 April 1971, should not be declared to be ultra vires the constitution.The Rule Nisi also stated why the properties so far incorporated in the list as Enemy (Vested) property should not be returned to the title holder/ successor/legal possession holders and or such other or further order or orders passed as to this Court may seem fit and proper.The Rule is made returnable within 4 weeks from the 28th October 2008.

This may be mentioned that as High Court Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court bench comprising Mr Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Mr Justice Qumrul Islam Siddique deliver the Rule Nisi upon the Government of Bangladesh on 28 October 2008HRCBM- Bangladesh represented by its Secretary General Rabindranath Trivedi filed the Writ under Article 102 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.Former Deputy Attorney General Barrister Nikhilesh Dutta and Senior Advocate S N Goswami moved the case for the petition and Deputy Attorney General Mr Razik Al Jali for the respondents. This may be mentioned here that Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), an NGO possessing 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 Divisions of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh on the complete abolishment of Vested Property Act. It is alleged that interest groups of political parties in power and individuals by making use of this Vested Property Act, continue to confiscate properties belonging to the minority Hindu community, and indeed to do so with the complicity of the authorities and the influential people.The Vested Property Act represents a major source of insecurity and of human rights violation against the Hindu community in Bangladesh. It is clear that the Vested Property Act (VPA) is detrimental to minorities and to the religious harmony of Bangladesh.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.It is learnt that the bench constituted with Justice Mr. Khademul Islam and Justice Mr Masuk Hossain Ahmed of High Court Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, have received the writ petition for hearing.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.