SC to hear appeal of tannery relocation fine on Mar 30

28 March 2017

The Supreme Court has set Mar 30 for the appeal hearing of the High Court decision to fine 154 tanneries a total of Tk 308.5 million for polluting the environment and failing to relocate operations from Dhaka's Hazaribagh to Savar.
The Appellate Division will also hear a petition calling for a review of the order to fine tannery owners Tk 10,000 each day until the relocation is complete. The date for the appeal hearing was set on Monday by a three-member appellate bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
Barrister Fazle Noor Tapash and Barrister Mohammad Mehedi Hassan Chowdhury represented the tannery petitioners at Monday's hearing. Lawyer Monjil Morshed represented their opposition. "The matter of the review and the [stay on the fine ordered by the chamber judge] will be heard simultaneously," said Monjil Morshed after the hearing. The court has set Mar 30 as the date for the hearing."
At the hearing Fazle Noor Tapash told the court that tannery owners had already been penalised Tk 14.4 million under the fine. In June last year, the High Court ordered the 154 tanneries to pay Tk 50,000 each to the national exchequer a day in compensation for polluting the environment until they shift to Savar.
Businesses moved the Appellate Division against the order. The amount was then revised to Tk 10,000. The court then instructed the industries secretary to implement the order. On Jan 25, the High Court summoned Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan after HRPB petitioned that the court's order was not implemented properly. The public servant appeared before the court on Feb 13 and rendered his explanation. Secretary Bhuiyan said that following the Appellate Division's order,  150 tanneries paid compensation for the month of August, but only four had paid in September and only three had paid in October. Then, on Mar 2, the High Court gave the tanneries two weeks to pay a fine of Tk 308.5 million for failing to relocate. The order was appealed by the Tanners Association and the Finished Leather Goods and Footwear Exporters Association at a hearing before Chamber Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Mar 19. The chamber judge stayed the order and sent the case to the appeals court.

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