Litigation 2006: HRCBM file lawsuit against government of Bangladesh
HRCBM, an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nation has filed a Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in 2006 seeking judgment of Bangladesh Supreme Court regarding state’s failure to protect minorities, specifically Hindus and Budhhist in the country.
Since 2001, a series of mass attacks have taken place across the country in which Islamists and cadres of the right wing political parties like Jamaat e -Islami and BNP unleash reign of terror against the country’s minorities. The marauders rampaged minority communities across the country murdering Hindu men and pillaging their women and girls while looting and destroying minority homes and places of worship [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The violence continued till 2006 when HRCBM filed the writ seeking Court’s intervention in upholding rights and dignity of minorities in Bangladesh.
The “Writ” 3380 OF 2006 was filed under Article 44 and 102 of the Constitution of the People’ Republic of Bangladesh which guarantees the right of every citizen to appeal at the High Court Division and gives discretionary power to the “High Court” to issue orders.
The writ emphasizes the state’s constitutional obligation to enforce fundamental rights of all citizens guaranteed under article 27, 37, 40, 41, 42, and 43.
In the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) HRCBM highlighted unabated mass attacks against Hindus and other minorities in the country in which cadres of the ruling party of BNP and jamaat e islami were involved. The violence continued till date during the filling of the writ. These attacks were aimed at annihilating minorities from the country.
The writ presented detailed accounts of genocidal crime against the community seeking Supreme Court’s immediate intervention to end violence against the community while holding the government responsible for the attack.
- Refworld.com, 2001. Bangladesh: Situation of Hindus following the 1 October 2001 election, particularly in the Moulvibazar district; government response to violence against Hindus (1 October 2001 – March 2002). Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. Available online at https://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be12c.html .
- UN, 2005. Violation of Linguistic and Cultural Rights of Minorities of Bangladesh. Intervention Under Item 3(a) of the Provisional Agenda: Commission on Human Rights: Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights 11th Sessions of Working Group on Minorities 30th May to 3rd June, 2005. Available online at https://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/minorities/docs/11/HR%20Congress_3a.doc
- Amnesty International, 2001. Bangladesh: Fear for safety, Religious minorities. Available online at https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/asa13/005/2001/en/
- HRCBM-DFW, 2003. Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities-Dallas Fort Worth (HRCBM-DFW) urged the Government of Bangladesh to immediately stop violence against the most peace-loving and helpless religious, ethnic and tribal minority communities of Bangladesh. Available online at https://www.prweb.com/releases/2003/12/prweb93948.htm
- Wikipedia, 2021. 2001 Bangladesh post-election violence. Available online at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Bangladesh_post-election_violence.
- Datta, Sreeradha, 2008. Post‐election communal violence in Bangladesh. Available online at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09700160208450047?journalCode=rsan20
Justices who have heard the writ petition 3380 of 2006:
Justice Md. Awlad Ali and Justice Jinnat Ara .
The writ was filed jointly by HRCBM and it’s partner Human Rights and Peace For Bangladesh (HRPB).
A glimpse of the writ is presented here below, you can downdload full version by clicking the pdf icon below.
Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
Writ Petition No.3380 of 2006
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF BANGLADESH
HIGH COURT DIVISION
(SPECIAL ORIGINAL JURISDICION)
WRIT PETITON NO. 3380 OF 2006
IN THE MATTER OF:
An application under Article 102 read with Article 44 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
A N D
IN THE MATTER OF :
Enforcement of fundamental Rights guaranteed under Article 27, 31, 40, 41, 42, and 43 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
A N D
IN THE MATTER OF :
Public Interest Litigation (PIL)
A N D
IN THE MATTER OF :
- Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), Bangladesh Chapter, represented by its President, Advocate Rabindra Ghosh, 41/0 Azimpur Estate, P. S. Lalbag, District – Dhaka.
- Human Rights And Peace For Bangladesh (HRPB) Represented by it’s President of the Executive Committee, Manzill Murshid, 36, B-1, Mirpur Road, Boshundhora Goli, P.S. Dhanmondi, Dhaka-1205.
–V E R S U S-
- Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, represented by the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, P.S. Raman, District-Dhaka.
- The Secretary (Cabinet Division), The Government of Bangladesh, Bangladesh Secretariat, P.S. Raman, District-Dhaka.
- Inspector General of Police (IGP), Police Bhaban, Phulbaria, P. S. Ramna, District-Dhaka.
- Additional Inspector General of Police (Head Quarter), Police Bhaban, Phulbaria, Police station- Ramna, District-Dhaka.
IN THE MATTER OF:
Inaction of the Respondents to protect persons and the properties of the citizens belonging to religious minority and failure to perform the duties to take legal action against the miscreant/terrorist/accused of the incident and continues ignoring the responsibility vested upon them as per the constitution.
Mr. Justice Syed J.R.Mudassir Husain, the Chief Justice of Bangladesh and his companion Justices of the said Hon’ble Court.
The humble petition of the petitioners above named most respectfully:-
S H E W E T H:
- That the Petitioner No.1 is the Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities (HRCBM), Bangladesh Chapter, represented by it’s President Advocate Rabindra Ghosh. The organization is registered before the Joint Stock Companies, Dhaka and working in Bangladesh through a National Committee. It is a Worldwide Organization having its Head Office at Santa Clara, California, U. S. A. The function of the organization is to establish human rights in the country, to stop anti human rights activities, to protect the religious minorities in Bangladesh from persecution and to bring the offenders to justice for punishing them for their criminal conducts. The organization also working to promote worldwide campaign on “THE PLIGHTS OF BANGLADESH MINORITIES”. The petitioner is providing legal assistance to religious minorities of Bangladesh. He is also co-coordinating amongst the organizations who serve “Bangladesh Minorities” and he is working with UN to help the oppressed Bangladesh Minorities”.
- That the petitioner No.2 is the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, represented by it’s Executive President Advocate Manzill Murshid. He is a regular practitioner of this Hon’ble Court and a human rights activist. That the organization Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) is a registered non profitable organization under the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, Bangladesh. HRPB is established to uphold the cause of Human Rights and to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens. The organization is playing avital role to fight for the cause of human rights and peace in Bangladesh. The organization HRPB is giving legal aid to the poor people, working to increase awareness about human rights and filling public interest litigation in case of violation of fundamental rights human rights.
- That the Respondent No.1 is the Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Secretariat, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Dhaka. The Respondent No.2 is the Secretary, Cabinet Division, Bangladesh Secretariate, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka.The Respondent No.3 is the Inspector General of Police, Police Bhaban, Phulbaria, Police Station – Ramna, Dhaka. That the Respondent No.4 is the Additional Inspector General of Police (Head Quarter), Police Bhaban, Phulbaria, Police Station – Ramna, Dhaka. That the addresses of the petitioners and the respondents given in the cause title of this petition are correct and genuine for the purpose of service notices upon them.
- That the constitution of Bangladesh has provide for all citizen to enjoy equal protection of law, to be treated in accordance with law, freedom of profession/occupation, freedom of religion, right to acquire property and protection of home. But the persons of religion minority are depriving from the above mentioned fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 27, 31, 40, 41, 42, and 43 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The respondents are the chiefs of the law-enforcing agency. Duty and responsibility vested upon them to protect persons and property of any citizen of the country. They are also duty bound to take legal action against the offenders of any offence through their field agency. It is the duty of the respondents to bring the offenders/accused to the justice but they have failed to perform the duties and responsibility as per the constitution. They also ignored to take legal action hundreds of different offences against the religious minorities. They have failed to protect religious minorities from eviction, torture, humiliation, persecution, rape and killing. In thus way the fundamental rights of the religious minority have been seriously violated.
- That it is stated here that it is in the interest of the petitioners and for the benefit of the citizens belonging to religious minorities of the country and in order to establish the right to property, to get protection of law, to enjoy religion festival and to be treated in accordance with law, the petitioners move this public interest Litigation (PIL) before this Hon’ble court and as it involves great public importance so this petition may be treated as public interest litigation.
- That the since the declaration of the schedule of the 8th General Election, which was held on October 01, 2001, there have been a number of reported incidents of assault, intimidation and arson on the person and property of citizens belonging to the religious minority community, across the county which is still continuing in different ways which has been and being reported in all National Daily Newspapers. Such acts of assault, rape, ill-treatment, torture and intimidation were being conducted with the motive of preventing the voting right freely and fearlessly and as a result of which the members of the minority community voters could not exercise their right of franchise freely rather after the national assembly election they have been subjected to torture, humiliation and the womenfolk of their community being raped and sexually harassed which if being reflected in different national dailies and the same act being violative of the fundamental right of the minority community. That humiliation as mentioned above has not been ended rather the same is being increased than that of before in different ways and forms and the respondents being unconcerned rather trying to suppress the inhuman acts……..