PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL)

A compilation of PIL cases in Bangladesh

Case Number: Writ petition No. 5140 of 2013
Date of filing: 2013/05/19
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Petitioners

1) Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD)

2) Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)

3) Nijera Kori

4) Arpito (shatru) Sampatti Ain Protirodh Andolon

5) Professor Dr. Abul Barkat

6) Sammilito Samajik Andolon

Respondents

 

  1. Bangladesh, represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  2. Secretary, Ministry of Land, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  3. Bangladesh Parliament, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, represented by its Secretary.
  4. Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  5. Deputy Commissioner, Dhaka.
  6. Deputy Commissioner, Manikgonj.
  7. Deputy Commissioner, Munshigonj.
  8. Deputy Commissioner, Narayangonj.
  9. Deputy Commissioner, Gazipur.
  10. Deputy Commissioner, Narsingdi
  11. Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh
  12. Deputy Commissioner, Tangail
  13. Deputy Commissioner, Jamalpur
  14. Deputy Commissioner, Sherpur
  15. Deputy Commissioner, Kishorgonj
  16. Deputy Commissioner,Netrokona
  17. Deputy Commissioner,Faridpur
  18. Deputy Commissioner,Gopalgonj
  19. Deputy Commissioner, Madaripur
  20. Deputy Commissioner, Shariatpur
  21. Deputy Commissioner, Khulna
  22. Deputy Commissioner, Bagerhat
  23. Deputy Commissioner, Satkhira
  24. Deputy Commissioner, Jessore
  25. Deputy Commissioner, Narail
  26. Deputy Commissioner, Jhenaidaha
  27. Deputy Commissioner, Magura
  28. Deputy Commissioner, Rajbari
  29. Deputy Commissioner, Barisal
  30. Deputy Commissioner, Patuakhali
  31. Deputy Commissioner, Pirojpur
  32. Deputy Commissioner, Jhalakathi
  33. Deputy Commissioner, Bhola
  34. Deputy Commissioner, Barguna
  35. Deputy Commissioner, Chittagonj
  36. Deputy Commissioner, Cox’s Bazar
  37. Deputy Commissioner, Noakhali
  38. Deputy Commissioner, Feni
  39. Deputy Commissioner, Laxmipur
  40. Deputy Commissioner,Comilla
  41. Deputy Commissioner, Chandpur
  42. Deputy Commissioner, Brahmanbaria
  43. Deputy Commissioner, Sylhet
  44. Deputy Commissioner, Hobigonj
  45. Deputy Commissioner, Moulovibazar
  46. Deputy Commissioner, Sunamgonj
  47. Deputy Commissioner,Rajshahi
  48. Deputy Commissioner,Chapai Nawabgonj
  49. Deputy Commissioner,Noagaon
  50. Deputy Commissioner,Natore
  51. Deputy Commissioner,Pabna
  52. Deputy Commissioner,Sirajgonj
  53. Deputy Commissioner,kushtia
  54. Deputy Commissioner,Chuadanga
  55. Deputy Commissioner,Meherpur
  56. Deputy Commissioner,Bogra
  57. Deputy Commissioner,Joypurhat
  58. Deputy Commissioner,Rangpur
  59. Deputy Commissioner,Lalmonirhat
  60. Deputy Commissioner,Gaibandha
  61. Deputy Commissioner,Kurigram
  62. Deputy Commissioner,Nilphamari
  63. Deputy Commissioner,Dinajpur
  64. Deputy Commissioner,Thakurgaon
  65. Deputy Commissioner,Panchagar
Facts

The Vested Property Act 1974 was a highly controversial law that effectively allowed the Government to appropriate property from individuals it deemed to be an enemy of the state. The abuse of laws by the government and its agencies to deprive religious minorities of their land continued post independence. The Vested Property Act 1974 had empowered the Government (whether of Pakistan or Bangladesh) only to become the custodian of and to preserve enemy property in contemplation of arrangements to be made in the conclusion of peace with India. But the Vested And Non-Resident Property (Administration) (Repeal) Ordinance, 1976 (Ordinance XCII of 1976) had sanctioned the Government not only to administer and manage vested properties, but also to dispose of or transfer the same on long term basis.  The 1976 Ordinance for the first time purported to make the Government the owner of vested properties instead of its mere custodian or protector. Thus, the Government deprived individuals, mainly from the Hindu community but also significantly from among the plains Adibashis, many from the Christian community, of their ancestral property, in a gross and blatant infringement of their constitutional right to private ownership. Finally, in 2001 the then government repeals the Act, and replaced it with the Vested Properties Return Act, 2001.  In an effort to restore the confiscated property to its rightful owners, Campaign groups and affected communities, however, noted significant gaps and inconsistencies in the law, which appeared to contradict the basic spirit of the Proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh and certain constitutional rights. To ensure equal protection of law among citizens, the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), BLAST and the other core organizations that had been involved in campaigning for the new law filed this Writ Petition for a declaration that some provisions of the said Act are unconstitutional.

Rule/Order/Judgment
Date: 05/06/2013


Details

A Rule Nisi be issued calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why the declaration of schedule of property contained in 'Ka' Gazette under the category of 2 (j) of Vested Property Return Act 2001 (as amended upto date) so far as it relates to publication and enlistment of the alleged vested property mentioned the date and V.P Case No./E.P. Case No. after 23.3.1974 in violation of the judgment and order of the Highest Judiciary should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why declaration of section (tha) and section 9(1) in respect of inclusion and publication of 'kha' schedule in Vested Property Return Act 2001 amended in 2011,2012 and 2013 should not be declared as ultra vires to the constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and contradictory to the judgment and order of the Highest Judiciary and why should not be declared to have been made  without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why section 13 of the Vested Property Return Act 2001 as amended in 2011 and 2012 is relating to whole sale abatement of the cases without saving clause pending for hearing in the Appellate Court and Revisional Court including in the Supreme Court concerned and unlawful inclusion in the schedule 'Ka' and 'kha' gazetted as vested property in violation of section of fundamental rights should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why subsequent alleged Additional List published in the Bangladesh Gazette in respect of left out 'Ka' and 'kha' schedule vested property in violation of section 9(6) of the Vested Property Return Act, 2001 as amended by Vested Property Return (amended) Act, 2011 and 2012 should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why inclusion of  sub section (ka) after sub section 1 of section 9 inserted by section 4 of enactment ' Vested Property  Return (amendment) Act , 2013 amending original section 9 of Vested Property Return Act, 2001 notified in Bangladesh Gazette dated 5.5.2013 should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect. 

The rule is made returnable within 2 (two) weeks from date.

Let this rule be served upon the respondents in usual course and also through registered post, on two sets of requisites being put in within 72 hours immediately.

Justices

1) Mr. Justice Quazi Reza Ul Hoque

2) Mr. Justice A.B.M. Altaf Hossain 



Date: 29/07/2013


Details

An application for injunction was filed on behalf of the petitioners for restraining the respondents from publishing  the " Ka" Schedule and "Kha" Schedule Gazette in the name of additional or left out vested properties through out all Upazilas covering 61 Districts except Hill Districts; Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachari under the respondent nos. 5 to 65.


Database Last Updated on:
Area of law
Equality,
Livelihood,
Property,
Shelter,
Life,
Liberty,
Access to Justice,
Land
Keywords
Vested Property
Relevant statute

1) Article 102 (2) (a) (i), 7(1), 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

2)  Section 9(1),13, 6, 9 (6),   2(q), 2 (j), 'Ka' & 'kha' schedule of the  Vested Property Return Act 2001 as amended in 2011 and 2012. 





Case Number: Writ petition No. 5140 of 2013
Date of filing: 2013/05/19

Petitioners

1) Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD)

2) Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST)

3) Nijera Kori

4) Arpito (shatru) Sampatti Ain Protirodh Andolon

5) Professor Dr. Abul Barkat

6) Sammilito Samajik Andolon

Respondents

 

  1. Bangladesh, represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  2. Secretary, Ministry of Land, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  3. Bangladesh Parliament, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka, represented by its Secretary.
  4. Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka-1000.
  5. Deputy Commissioner, Dhaka.
  6. Deputy Commissioner, Manikgonj.
  7. Deputy Commissioner, Munshigonj.
  8. Deputy Commissioner, Narayangonj.
  9. Deputy Commissioner, Gazipur.
  10. Deputy Commissioner, Narsingdi
  11. Deputy Commissioner, Mymensingh
  12. Deputy Commissioner, Tangail
  13. Deputy Commissioner, Jamalpur
  14. Deputy Commissioner, Sherpur
  15. Deputy Commissioner, Kishorgonj
  16. Deputy Commissioner,Netrokona
  17. Deputy Commissioner,Faridpur
  18. Deputy Commissioner,Gopalgonj
  19. Deputy Commissioner, Madaripur
  20. Deputy Commissioner, Shariatpur
  21. Deputy Commissioner, Khulna
  22. Deputy Commissioner, Bagerhat
  23. Deputy Commissioner, Satkhira
  24. Deputy Commissioner, Jessore
  25. Deputy Commissioner, Narail
  26. Deputy Commissioner, Jhenaidaha
  27. Deputy Commissioner, Magura
  28. Deputy Commissioner, Rajbari
  29. Deputy Commissioner, Barisal
  30. Deputy Commissioner, Patuakhali
  31. Deputy Commissioner, Pirojpur
  32. Deputy Commissioner, Jhalakathi
  33. Deputy Commissioner, Bhola
  34. Deputy Commissioner, Barguna
  35. Deputy Commissioner, Chittagonj
  36. Deputy Commissioner, Cox’s Bazar
  37. Deputy Commissioner, Noakhali
  38. Deputy Commissioner, Feni
  39. Deputy Commissioner, Laxmipur
  40. Deputy Commissioner,Comilla
  41. Deputy Commissioner, Chandpur
  42. Deputy Commissioner, Brahmanbaria
  43. Deputy Commissioner, Sylhet
  44. Deputy Commissioner, Hobigonj
  45. Deputy Commissioner, Moulovibazar
  46. Deputy Commissioner, Sunamgonj
  47. Deputy Commissioner,Rajshahi
  48. Deputy Commissioner,Chapai Nawabgonj
  49. Deputy Commissioner,Noagaon
  50. Deputy Commissioner,Natore
  51. Deputy Commissioner,Pabna
  52. Deputy Commissioner,Sirajgonj
  53. Deputy Commissioner,kushtia
  54. Deputy Commissioner,Chuadanga
  55. Deputy Commissioner,Meherpur
  56. Deputy Commissioner,Bogra
  57. Deputy Commissioner,Joypurhat
  58. Deputy Commissioner,Rangpur
  59. Deputy Commissioner,Lalmonirhat
  60. Deputy Commissioner,Gaibandha
  61. Deputy Commissioner,Kurigram
  62. Deputy Commissioner,Nilphamari
  63. Deputy Commissioner,Dinajpur
  64. Deputy Commissioner,Thakurgaon
  65. Deputy Commissioner,Panchagar
Facts

The Vested Property Act 1974 was a highly controversial law that effectively allowed the Government to appropriate property from individuals it deemed to be an enemy of the state. The abuse of laws by the government and its agencies to deprive religious minorities of their land continued post independence. The Vested Property Act 1974 had empowered the Government (whether of Pakistan or Bangladesh) only to become the custodian of and to preserve enemy property in contemplation of arrangements to be made in the conclusion of peace with India. But the Vested And Non-Resident Property (Administration) (Repeal) Ordinance, 1976 (Ordinance XCII of 1976) had sanctioned the Government not only to administer and manage vested properties, but also to dispose of or transfer the same on long term basis.  The 1976 Ordinance for the first time purported to make the Government the owner of vested properties instead of its mere custodian or protector. Thus, the Government deprived individuals, mainly from the Hindu community but also significantly from among the plains Adibashis, many from the Christian community, of their ancestral property, in a gross and blatant infringement of their constitutional right to private ownership. Finally, in 2001 the then government repeals the Act, and replaced it with the Vested Properties Return Act, 2001.  In an effort to restore the confiscated property to its rightful owners, Campaign groups and affected communities, however, noted significant gaps and inconsistencies in the law, which appeared to contradict the basic spirit of the Proclamation of Independence of Bangladesh and certain constitutional rights. To ensure equal protection of law among citizens, the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD), BLAST and the other core organizations that had been involved in campaigning for the new law filed this Writ Petition for a declaration that some provisions of the said Act are unconstitutional.


Rule/Order/Judgment
Date: 05/06/2013:
Details

A Rule Nisi be issued calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why the declaration of schedule of property contained in 'Ka' Gazette under the category of 2 (j) of Vested Property Return Act 2001 (as amended upto date) so far as it relates to publication and enlistment of the alleged vested property mentioned the date and V.P Case No./E.P. Case No. after 23.3.1974 in violation of the judgment and order of the Highest Judiciary should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why declaration of section (tha) and section 9(1) in respect of inclusion and publication of 'kha' schedule in Vested Property Return Act 2001 amended in 2011,2012 and 2013 should not be declared as ultra vires to the constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and contradictory to the judgment and order of the Highest Judiciary and why should not be declared to have been made  without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why section 13 of the Vested Property Return Act 2001 as amended in 2011 and 2012 is relating to whole sale abatement of the cases without saving clause pending for hearing in the Appellate Court and Revisional Court including in the Supreme Court concerned and unlawful inclusion in the schedule 'Ka' and 'kha' gazetted as vested property in violation of section of fundamental rights should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why subsequent alleged Additional List published in the Bangladesh Gazette in respect of left out 'Ka' and 'kha' schedule vested property in violation of section 9(6) of the Vested Property Return Act, 2001 as amended by Vested Property Return (amended) Act, 2011 and 2012 should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect and as to why inclusion of  sub section (ka) after sub section 1 of section 9 inserted by section 4 of enactment ' Vested Property  Return (amendment) Act , 2013 amending original section 9 of Vested Property Return Act, 2001 notified in Bangladesh Gazette dated 5.5.2013 should not be declared to have been made without lawful authority and be of no legal effect. 

The rule is made returnable within 2 (two) weeks from date.

Let this rule be served upon the respondents in usual course and also through registered post, on two sets of requisites being put in within 72 hours immediately.

Justices

1) Mr. Justice Quazi Reza Ul Hoque

2) Mr. Justice A.B.M. Altaf Hossain ,  


Date: 29/07/2013:
Details

An application for injunction was filed on behalf of the petitioners for restraining the respondents from publishing  the " Ka" Schedule and "Kha" Schedule Gazette in the name of additional or left out vested properties through out all Upazilas covering 61 Districts except Hill Districts; Rangamati, Bandarban, Khagrachari under the respondent nos. 5 to 65.

Justices


Reference

Area of law
Equality,  Livelihood,  Property,  Shelter,  Life,  Liberty,  Access to Justice,  Land

Keywords
Vested Property

Relevant statute

1) Article 102 (2) (a) (i), 7(1), 31 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh.

2)  Section 9(1),13, 6, 9 (6),   2(q), 2 (j), 'Ka' & 'kha' schedule of the  Vested Property Return Act 2001 as amended in 2011 and 2012. 


Related Proceedings
Database Last Updated on:
Full Judgment Link: http://bdpil.org/assets/uploads/pdf/eab59-wp-no.-5140-of-2013.pdf