The High Court yesterday ordered the government not to take any legal action till Sunday against the green activists who had been demonstrating to press their demand that Dhanmondi playground be opened to public.
The order came hours after four environmentalists sued for protesting occupation of the playground surrendered before a lower court and secured bail.
Green activists earlier filed a writ petition seeking HC directives on the government to stop construction of illegal structures on the playground. Hearing on the petition, the court yesterday asked the attorney general's office to inform the authorities concerned of its order.
During the hearing, petitioners' counsels Sara Hossain told the court that the four environmentalists -- Mobassher Hossain, former president of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh; Iqbal Habib, joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon; Kamrunnahar Dana, general secretary of Bangladesh Women's Sports Association, and architect Salma A Shafi -- had been sued and harassed for protesting occupation of the playground.
Assistant Attorney General Titus Hillol Rema prayed to the court to adjourn the hearing, saying that Attorney General Mahbubey Alam would place arguments on the petition.
In response, Justice Salma Masud Chowdhury and Justice Md Habibul Gani fixed Sunday to resume the hearing on the petition.
Mobassher and five other environmentalists submitted the writ petition on Monday challenging the legality of a Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) notice requesting Sheikh Jamal Dhanmodi Club to take approval for constructing structures on the playground.
They also sought directives from the HC on the authorities to remove the structures already built there, and to ensure access of general people to the playground.
The Dhanmondi Club following a demonstration by environmentalists on April 18 filed a case accusing them of creating chaos near the “private property.” The green activists also face charges of entering Dhanmondi playground illegally and hampering construction work.
The petitioners, however, said the club had been constructing structures on the playground violating laws relating to environment, building construction and water bodies.
Several rights organisations have also been waging movements demanding public access to the playground.