28 January 2011

HC asks for report by Feb 6 on blast in Chittagong ShipBreaking yard

Staff Correspondent The High Court yesterday directed the chief inspector of Directorate of Explosives to submit a report by February 6 on the explosion at a ship-breaking yard in Sitakunda that killed four people on January 18.

It also ordered the director general of Department of Environment to submit a report within the same deadline on whether the ship that exploded had obtained any environmental clearance certificate from his office.

Earlier on January 19, the HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain issued a suo moto rule asking Master Abul Kashem, owner of the ship, to explain why he should not be penalised for contempt of court for dismantling a ship defying HC restrictions.

The court issued the rule following a report published in The Daily Star on the same day.

The bench yesterday kept Abul Kashem, owner of Mak International Corporation, standing in the courtroom dock for around five hours on charge of contempt of court.

In addition to that, the court asked him to appear before it on February 6.

The bench also directed the officer-in-charge of Sitakunda Police Station to notify the court on the same day whether any case had been filed in connection with the ship explosion in Abul and if so, the development of the case so far.

Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh appeared in the court for Kashem, while Syeda Rizwana Hasan and Iqbal Kabir Lytton, both leaders of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, argued against shipbreaking.

Source: The Daily Star, Dhaka. Friday, January 28, 2011

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