The High Court on Thursday asked the deputy commissioner of Chattogram, the Department of Environment director for enforcement and its Chattogram unit deputy director to explain in 10 days why they would not be punished for contempt of court for flouting its directive to demolish unauthorised brick kilns.
The online bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kamrul Hossain Mollah set April 8 for passing further order on the contempt proceedings.
On January 31, the bench gave the three public servants two-week time as a ‘last chance’ to demolish illegally-constructed brick kilns in Chittagrom to comply with its previous directive issued on December 14, 2020.
The court also asked the three respondents to submit separate compliance reports to it on March 18.
The bench on Thursday issued the fresh directive after hearing a contempt petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh against the three government officials.
HRPB lawyer Manzill Murshid told the court that over 450 brick kilns were established in Chattogram and among them, 340 were running their business illegally, posing a threat to the environment.
‘As the respondents were given 14 working days’ time as the last chance to demolish all the illegal brick fields, there is no scope to go beyond the court’s earlier order,’ the court observed.
The court said that as some owners of the illegal brick fields became unsuccessful after challenging the orders of the High Court, it meant that the court’s earlier directives had been upheld by the Appellate Division.
The court observed that the respondents did not comply with the directive of the court and kept flouting it time and again, creating an opportunity to the owners of the illegal brick fields to continue their illegal works, which were detrimental to the environment and serious threat to a large number of people, under the nose of the local administration.
Representing the deputy commissioner, deputy attorney general Nawroz Md Rasel Chowdhury told the court that the DC could demolish 128 brick fields but failed to demolish the others as the brick fields’ owners filed five writ petitions challenging the legality of a notice regarding the matter.
DAG Nawroz prayed for further time to comply with the directive and Manzill Murshid opposed the prayer, saying that the respondents were given time in three consecutive hearings.
Nawroz told the court that Tk 2 lakh required every day for demolition drives could not be given to the Department of Environment as the finance ministry was not allocating fund.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country