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Fine on tannery owners stayed

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Court Correspondent :
The Appellate Division Chamber Judge on Sunday stayed a High Court order that directed 154 tannery owners of Hazaribagh in the city to pay Tk 30.65 crore fine for not relocating their factories to the Tannery Estate of Savar within the scheduled time.
After a brief hearing on a petition filed by Bangladesh Tanners' Association and Bangladesh Finished Leather, Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters' Association, Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order that stayed the HC order until March 23 and sent the appeal to the regular bench of the apex court for hearing.
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury argued for the tannery owners.
On March 2, a bench of the High Court directed 154 tannery owners to pay fine of Tk 30.65 crore within two weeks for their failure to relocate their factories to the Tannery Estate of Savar within the stipulated time. The order came as 154 errant tannery owners who hadn't paid Tk 10,000 fine per day according to the court's earlier directive, while the Industries Secretary submitted their list to the court.
On February 7, the Industries Secretary appeared in the court following its directive to explain his failure to collect fine from the tannery owners. On that day, the High Court Bench had directed him to submit the list of the errant tannery owners.
On July 18 last, the High Court ordered each of the 154 tannery owners to pay the government Tk 10,000 per day as fine for not relocating their factories to the Tannery Estate in Savar. The court also ordered the government to donate 50 percent of the fine to the National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh.
On January 10, the Industries Secretary submitted a report to the court mentioning that 150 companies paid Tk 10,000 each in August while four paid the fine for September and three others paid for October last.
As the Secretary failed to do his duty for collecting the fine, Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid filed a petition with the court seeking summon against him to give his explanation.
In 2001, a High Court passed an order for relocating tannery industries from Hazaribagh of the capital. The government extended several times, the relocation deadlines acceding to the requests made by Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, the implementing agency of the tannery estate project.

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