The Supreme Court yesterday extended the tenure of Accord to May 19 in what can be viewed as a small victory for the European retailers' inspection agency.
The development comes after the court adjourned until May 19 the hearing of an appeal filed by the Accord challenging a High Court judgment that asked the agency to stop its activities in Bangladesh.
“The Accord can function in Bangladesh until further hearing of its appeal by the Supreme Court,” said Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, who appeared for the government.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after the Accord sought an adjournment from the SC as it was in talks with the government for an amicable settlement over the relevant issues.
The tenure of Accord, a platform of more than 200 retailers formed to enhance garment factory safety in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza collapse in April 2013, had originally ended in May last year.
It has been insisting on a three-year extension to see through the remediation works in its 1,600 sourcing factories -- a demand that the government and the garment factory owners are not willing to entertain.
The platform of mostly Europe-based retailers got a six-month extension until November last year, much to its dismay. It took the matter to court, where it has been dragging on.