Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK) v The Government of Bangladesh and others (Writ Petition no 4040 of 2021)

Subject matter of the case-

The inaction and failure of the respondents to restrain the miscreant land grabbers from grabbing 60 acres of agricultural land situated in Cox’s Bazar Sadar thus empowering them to change the nature of the said agricultural land, and to direct the respondents to recover these 60 acres of agricultural land from the illegal land grabbers and to hand over the same to the rightful owners.

Summary-

Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), represented by its Executive Director, filed a writ petition against the Government of Bangladesh and others considering their inactions regarding the illegal agricultural land grabbing of 60 acres situated in Muhuripara of Cox’s Bazar Sadar which rightfully belonged to local farmers of that area who are very poor and fully dependent on their lands for livelihood. In reference to a news published in Daily Ittefaq, the petitioner mentioned that the miscreants illegally grabbed the mentioned agricultural land and, in an attempt, to convert these agricultural lands into housing areas filled these areas with sands. The petitioners also mentioned that the respondents are under a statutory obligation enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh to protect the poor people from the illegal land grabbers and to secure the right to life, property, and livelihood of the disadvantaged and helpless people, which they have failed to comply with.

In light of these incidents, the petitioner pleaded before the court to issue a rule nisi calling upon the respondents to show cause as to why their impugned inaction and failure to prevent/restrain the miscreant land grabbers from grabbing 60 acres of agricultural land situated in Muhuripara, Cox’s Bazar Sadar and permitting them to change the nature of the said agricultural land, and the failure to recover these agricultural land from the illegal land grabbers and hand over the same to the rightful owners should not be declared as to be inconsistent with the Constitution of Bangladesh. The petitioners further pleaded to direct the respondents to immediately recover the 60 acres of the agricultural land from the land grabbers and return these to their rightful owners.

Ruling of the court-

On 15 June, 2021, the High Court Division ordered a judicial inquiry to investigate how 60 acres of agricultural land were illegally grabbed from their real owners at Muhuripar of Cox’s Bazar district. The court asked the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Cox’s Bazar to submit the probe report of the inquiry within two months and ruled status quo on the possession of the land until further order. The court further issued a rule nisi to know why the inaction and failure of the Respondent’s to prevent illegal occupation of land in Muhuripara would not be illegal.