BLAST and another vs. Bangladesh and others [‘Jhilpara Slum Eviction’ Case]

Writ Petition No. 2760 of 2008

Facts: BLAST, along with residents of Jhilpara Slum, filed a writ petition in the High Court on 06.04.2008 challenging a notice dated 19.03.2008 and issued by the Executive Magistrate directing the police to evict approximately 2,000 inhabitants of Jhilpara Slum, Shahli Thana, Dhaka and to vacate the slum area by 07.04.2008 on plea of illegal occupation.

Arguments:
The petitioners claimed that forced eviction of slum dwellers, without prior rehabilitation or resettlement, constitutes a violation of the right to life, including the right to shelter, guaranteed by Articles 31 and 32 of the Constitution, read with Article 15. The petition also referred to the state’s obligations under the International Convention on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (IC ESCR).

Order: The High Court stayed the operation of the notice on 07.04.2008 and issued a Rule Nisi on the respondents directing them to show cause as to why the threat of eviction without providing for alternative rehabilitation should not be declared to be without lawful authority and unconstitutional being in violation of the fundamental rights of the slum dwellers to life and to be treated in accordance with law.

Laws Cited:
Constitution, Articles 15, 31 and 32; Government Land and Properties (Recovery of Possession) Ordinance 1970

International Instrument Cited: International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (IC ESCR)

Status: A Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal No. 1722/08 was moved before the Appellate Division on 03.09.2008 by the respondents to the writ petition and was dismissed on 27.07.2009.

 

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