The Supreme Court today directed the Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust to compensate around Tk 100 crore to the owner of then Moon Cinema Hall by July 30.
Moon Cinema, which was located in Waize Ghat Road area of Dhaka, was handed over to the Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust during the Martial Law regime of 1975-79.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by acting Chief Justice Abdul Wahhab Miah passed the order after hearing a contempt petition filed by Moon Cinema’s owner Maksudul Alam.
The apex court ordered Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust and its managing director to pay the money in three instalments to Maksudul Alam, currently managing director of Bangladesh Italian Marble Works Ltd.
Delivering a verdict on the case against the constitution’s fifth amendment, the Supreme Court on May 11, 2011, directed Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Fund to return properties of Moon Cinema in three months.
As the order went unheeded, Maksudul filed a contempt of court petition with the Supreme Court in January 2013 against the authorities concerned of the government and Muktijodhha Kalyan Trust for not executing its verdict.
During hearing the petition, the SC in January last year directed Engr Zamilur Reza Chowdhury to assess the cost of properties of Moon Cinema Hall which has already been turned into a development structure.
Recently, Zamilur Reza Chowdhury submitted a report to the Supreme Court assessing the cost of the Moon Cinema Hall properties at around Tk 100 crore.
Also, on February 2, 2010 the Supreme Court in another verdict had upheld a High Court judgement that declared the fifth amendment of the constitution illegal, which meant that the government between August 15, 1975 and April 9, 1979 were in power without lawful authority.
The High Court had delivered its verdict on August 29, 2005 following a writ petition filed by Maksudul challenging the Martial Law regulation seven of 1977 issued to legalise all illegal acts of the Martial Law government, including acquiring the land of the then Moon Cinema Hall prior to that time.