The High Court has ordered Hazaribagh tanneries to pay overdue fines of Tk30.85 crore within two weeks or face “serious consequences.”
These tanneries – 154 in total – were fined Tk50,000 daily in June last year for not relocating to Savar but the top court had revised the amount to Tk10,000 in July.
Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam and Justice Ashish Ranjan Das' bench on Thursday issued the order after hearing a petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB).
The court in 2001 ordered these tanneries to relocate to Savar but the order was not executed. The court on June 23, 2009 again ordered the relocation to be completed within February 24, 2010.
However, the deadline was extended to April 30, 2011 at the government's request, prompting the HRPB to move the court.
HRPB lawyer Manzil Murshid told the Dhaka Tribune that the court warned owners of these tanneries of “dire consequences” if they failed to pay the damages in two weeks.
The industry secretary had informed the court that the tanneries had not paid their fines. The HRPB filed a supplementary petition requesting the court to order cutting off gas and electricity supplies to these tanneries.
Earlier, the High Court had asked the industry secretary to report on the tanneries' relocation.
In a February 13 report, the secretary said that 154 tanneries had not relocated to their designated sites while another tannery had shut down.