The Supreme Court today stayed the High Court orders that prohibited the authorities concerned to evict 24 brick kilns having no valid licence in Chattogram, clearing the way for shutting them down.
Chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the SC, Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, passed the stay orders following eight separate leave to appeal petitions filed by Department of Environment (DoE) challenging the HC orders.
The apex court chamber judge also sent the petitions to its full bench for their detailed hearing on June 21, DoE's lawyer Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
He said following a writ petition from the rights body -- Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Md Kamrul Hossain Mollah on December 14 last year ordered the authorities concerned of the government to shut down all illegal brick fields in Chattogram.
Later on, multiple appeals were filed by the owners of some illegal brick yards with the Appellate Division seeking stay on the HC directive. However, the apex court chamber judge refused to pass any stay order on the HC directive.
On March 18, the HC issued a contempt of court rule against the deputy commissioner of Chattogram and its DoE officials as they did not fully comply with the HC directive. The rule is now pending with the HC.
Owners of 24 brick kilns then submitted eight separate writ petitions with the HC through their lawyers to stay the eviction of their brick kilns, suppressing information of apex court's refusal orders, Manzill Murshid said.
Following their petitions, the HC bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder on March 22 granted 45 days' time to the 24 owners for relocating the brick kilns and ordered the government officials concerned not to evict them in this period (45 days).
DoE's director general recently filed eight leave to appeal petition with the Appellate Division challenging the HC's March 22 orders.
Lawyers Syed Kamrul Hossain Kiron and Muntasir Uddin Ahmed also appeared for the DoE during virtual hearing of the petitions.