SC upholds HC injunction on eviction of dwellers
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that issued an injunction on eviction of dwellers from Kalyanpur Pora slum in Dhaka.
The apex court also asked the HC to dispose of in four weeks its rule questioning the legality of the government move to evict the slum dwellers.
The HC bench led by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury will hear and dispose of the rule, the SC said.
The four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after hearing a petition, seeking a stay on the HC order, filed by the government on January 24.
Following a petition filed by Ain o Salish Kendra, Coalition for Urban Poor, and two slum dwellers, the HC on January 21 issued the injunction restraining the government from evicting the residents of the slum in the land of Housing and Building Research Institute for next three months.
It also ordered the authorities concerned of the government not to harass or threat the slum dwellers without specific allegation during this period.
While demolishing an illegal market and some shanties in the slum area on that day, protesters and police threw brick chips and chased each other.
After the SC passed the order yesterday, Dr Kamal Hossain, lawyer of the slum dwellers' writ petitioners, told reporters that following a writ petition filed by them the HC in December 2003 and in January 2004 directed the authorities concerned to maintain status quo on eviction of the slum dwellers.
The HC also issued a rule asking the authorities to explain why the attempts for the eviction should not be declared illegal, he said, adding that subsequently, the HC in January 2007 stayed a government move to evict the residents from the slum until disposal of the rule.
Kamal Hossain said the authorities did not reply to the HC rule, but Mirpur police on January 19 this year picked up five residents and confined them till night and asked them to leave the slum.
On January 20, some residents were evicted from the slum violating the HC order, he added.
During hearing on the government petition yesterday, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the SC that only 16 dwellers were now illegally staying in the slum as most of them were already evicted.
According to the writ petitioners, there are around 20,000 people in Kalyanpur Pora slum and many of them are women, children, garment workers and some freedom fighters.