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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Writ petition on land survey in CHT filed with the High Court

Writ petition on land survey in CHT filed with the High Court
In February 2011, Md. Jahangir Kamal and others filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking a direction upon the Respondents “to show cause as to why a direction should not be given upon the respondents to perform the land survey in CHT area according to the decision/resolution dated 03.08.2009 and 07.09.2009 of the CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission.”
It is learnt that Md. Jahangir Kamal is a leader of CHT Equal Rights Movement, a military-backed extreme nationalist and fanatic organisation.
It is reported that the decisions of CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission (LDRC) were made without lawful authority and are void quorum non judice. As per section 7(3) of LDRC Act 2001, the quorum will be fulfilled by two members of Commission including Chairman and as per section 3(2) of LDRC Act, three chairmen of concerned HDC must be present as ex-officio in the Commission meeting. But the decision dated 07.09.2009 was passed by two members and Chairman but one member of them, Angchuipru Chowdhuri, Member of Rangamati Hill District Council has no lucus standi to attend in Commission meeting as member of RHDC because section 3(2) of LDRC Act clearly provided concerned chairman of HDC. So, the decisions are void quorum non judice.
It is also worth mentioning that the chairman of the CHT LDRC unilaterally declared to conduct land survey in the CHT without a decision to that effect in any of the meetings. In addition, CHT Accord provides to conduct land survey in CHT after rehabilitation of the returnee Jumma refugees and internally Jumma displaced persons and resolution of land disputes. So, the decision by the Land Commission chairman to undertake land survey before resolving the land disputes is a clear violation of the provision of the CHT Accord.
HC seeks govt explanation on land survey
On 2 May 2011, in the first hearing, the High Court asked the government to explain why an order to conduct a land survey in Chittagong Hill Tracts to stop land disputes should not be issued.
The cabinet division secretary, law secretary, CHT secretary and 10 others have been asked to explain to the court within 12 weeks.
The bench of justices Farid Ahmed and Mohammad Shawkat Hossain issued the rule on Monday following a writ filed by CHT residents Mohammad Jahangir Kamal and AHM Shahidullah. Lawyer Monzil Morshed stood for the petitioner during the hearing.
Govt appoints a BNP lawyer as GP for CHT Land Commission
Law, Parliament and Justice Ministry appointed a lawyer of Khagrachari Bar Association named advocate Manjur Morshed as Government Pleader (GP) for CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission.
Indigenous leaders expressed concern over appointment of advocate Manjur Morshed as GP for CHT LDRC. Khagrachari District Headmen Association said that advocate Manjur Morshed is a leader of CHT Equal Rights Movement (a military-backed extreme nationalist and fanatic organisation) and also Law Affairs Secretary of Khagrachari district branch of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). As a leader of extreme fanatic group, it is not expected any neutral role in getting back land by indigenous Jumma people from the occupation of Bengali settlers.
Mangal Kumar Chakma, information and publicity secretary of PCJSS, also raised question that on what ground the government appointed GP for the Commission as CHT Accord Implementation Monitoring Committee, in its last meeting held on 26 December 2011, postponed all activities of CHT LDRC till amendment of CHT LDRC Act.
Kapaeeng Foundation
(A Human Rights Organization for Indigenous Peoples of Bangladesh)
Shalma Garden, House # 23/25, Road # 4, Block # B, PC Culture Housing, Mohammadpur, Dhaka-1207, Telephone: +880-2-8190801
E-mail: kapaeeng.foundation@gmail.com, kapaeeng.watch@gmail.com

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