The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld--until further orders--a High Court directive that asked the government to shut down all illegal brick kilns with no valid license in Chattogram.
Chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice Md Nuruzzaman on Thursday refused to stay the HC order.
The apex court's chamber judge sent the appeal, filed by 18 owners of 23 brick kilns challenging the HC order to its full bench and fixed August 29 for hearing the appeal.
Following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), the HC on December 14 last year directed the authorities concerned of the government to shut down illegal brick kilns in Chattogram in a week to save the environment.
The HC also asked the authorities to find out those involved in damaging farmland and hills, burning wood and polluting environment by running illegal brick kilns and to submit a list of their names and addresses to this court.
The owners of 23 brick kilns in Chattogram recently filed the appeal with the Appellate Division challenging the HC directives and seeking stay on the directives.
During hearing the appeal yesterday, Mahmuda Begum, lawyer for the brick kiln owners, told the SC chamber judge that hundreds of people work in their brick fields which have been paying relevant taxes to the government over the years.
If the brick kilns are shut down, the workers will become unemployed, the lawyer said.
Writ petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid opposed the appeal saying that no brick field without license can run according to the Brick Preparation and Field Setup [Control] Act, 2013.
There is a provision in the law for two years' imprisonment for running brick fields without license, he said, adding that the appellants have no license for running their brick fields.
Manzill Murshid also said hundreds of brick kilns, without having valid license, have been operating in Chattogram and therefore, the environment is being polluted seriously.
Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that the authorities concerned must shut down the brick kilns which have no license in Chattogram following the SC chamber judge's order.