28 January 2011

ShipBreaking yard owner kept standing in the High Court

A High Court bench on Thursday kept an owner of a ship-breaking yard standing in the dock of the courtroom on charge of committing contempt of court by breaking ship despite the HC restriction.

Master Abul Kashem, owner of Mak International Corporation, kept on standing before the bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain for more than five hours since 10:30am.

Along with that, the bench asked him to appear before the court again on February 6.

The court also directed the officer in-charge of Sitakunda Police Station to notify it on the same day whether any case was filed regarding the explosion on January 18 in the yard owned by Abul Kashem and if any, what sort of developments the case gained so far.

The HC bench directed the director general of directorate of explosives to find out why the explosion took place on the yard and submit a report about it on February 6.

The court also directed the director general of department of environment to submit a report whether the ship, in which the explosion occurred, received any certificate from any environmental authority about its safety.

Earlier on January 19, the bench issued a suo moto rule asking Kashem to explain why he should not be punished for contempt of court by dismantling ship despite the HC order.

The court on the day issued the rule following a report on The Daily Star stating that four people were killed in an explosion while scrapping ship in his yard on January 18.

The same court also issued a suo moto rule directing the government to stop all kinds of scrapping of ships in the country until further order.

The HC in March 2009 directed the government not to allow any ship in Bangladesh without cleaning its in-built toxins.

But with the permission of the Department of Environment, Abul Kashem, owner of MAK Corporation, imported three hazardous ships in December last year and started dismantling those despite the HC ban.

Source: The Daily Star, Dhaka. Thursday, January 27, 2011

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