The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court verdict that ordered confiscation of Concord Group's 18-storey tower on a government land that was leased out to Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage in the capital's Azimpur.
A three-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after dismissing an appeal filed by Concord Group's Managing Director Mir Showkat Ali, challenging the HC verdict.
Following a writ petition, the HC on September 17, 2015 had ordered Concord Group to hand over its 18-storey building to Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage through the social welfare ministry in 30 days after receiving the copy of the verdict.
Otherwise, the ministry would take over its possession and property of the multi-storey building within seven days and hand it over to the orphanage.
The full text of the verdict was released on December 21, 2016, also directing the government authorities to immediately constitute an effective managing committee to run the administration and management of the orphanage and to protect, maintain and improve it and its properties.
The HC also declared illegal the government's inaction to protect its property leased out to the orphanage, and the transfer of the land to the developer under the influence of the president and secretary of the orphanage's managing committee.
The deeds and power of attorney given by the president and secretary to Concord Group in July 2003 and April 2004 are illegal, according to the full judgment.
The HC asked the deputy commissioner of Dhaka to take action against the people who had committed forgery and cheating and purposefully acted beyond the interests of the orphanage and orphans living there.
“The land in question has been leased out to the orphanage by short terms lease vide five lease deeds by the government for the purpose of setting up the orphanage, which are not transferable according to the terms and conditions of the lease deeds,” it said.
Writ petitioners' counsel Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star that there is no legal bar for the authorities to execute the HC directives as the Appellate Division upheld its (HC) verdict yesterday.
The 18-storey tower will be considered as the property of Sir Salimullah Muslim Orphanage following the apex court order, he said. Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, Advocate AM Aminuddin, Advocate Mahbub Ali and Advocate MA Hannan appeared for the Concord Group.