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Writ Petition against CHT Peace Accord


On 22 August 2007 a writ petition (no. 6451/2007) against CHT Peace Accord was filed at High Court by Advocate Md. Tajul Islam. According to prayers of the petitioner, on 27 October the Court issued a Rule Nisi calling upon the Respondents to show cause as to why the execution, signing and implementation of the Parbatya Chattagram Shanti Chukti (Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord) 1997 by the Government of the Jana Sanghoti Samity (PCJSS) signed at Dhaka on 18 Agrahayon, B.S. (2nd December 1997) by violating the provisions of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and in contravention with the sovereignty of Bangladesh and supremacy of it’s sacred constitution shall not be declared to have been done without lawful authority and is of no legal effect. The Court further issued an interim order directing the Respondent no. 8 (the Election Commission) not to deprive of any non-tribal citizen residing at CHT area from being enlisted as voter during the ensuring voter enlistment process on ground of being non-permanent resident in CHT pending disposal of the rule.

The Government of Bangladesh is yet to submit its show cause to the Court. The writ petition was filed against the Secretaries of Cabinet Division, LGED Ministry, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry, Land Ministry, CHT Affairs Ministry and Defence Ministry and Election Commission. The CHT Regional Council is processing to be enlisted as a party to this petition. On the contrary, violating the CHT Peace Accord and three Hill District Council Acts, non-permanent Bengali residents are being enlisted as voter in CHT. It is worth mentioning that the CHT Peace Accord and three Hill District Council (HDC) Acts provide that the voter of the CHT region will be prepared only with the permanent residents of CHT. As per CHT Peace Accord and HDC Acts state that a non-tribal person is deemed to be a permanent resident of CHT region who has lawful land property.

On the other, CHT Regional Council (CHTRC) submitted application to be added as respondent no. 9 to the writ petition on 12 November 2007. In its prayer, CHTRC submitted that the CHTRC has been established in order to ensure the participation and representation of people from the CHT in the governance of the three hill districts and for the purpose of the implementation of the CHT Accord, it is a genuinely interested party in the outcome of this writ petition and such its would be greatly affected unless the CHTRC is allowed to be added as respondent no. 9 to the writ petition. Mr. Ushatan Talukder prayed on behalf of CHTRC.

It is also mentionable that in 1999 Md. Sansuddin filed a writ petition (no. 4113/1999) against CHT Peace Accord. The Court also issued similar Rule Nisi upon the Government of Bangladesh. Further more, in 2000 another writ petition (no. 26669/2000) was also filed against the CHT Regional Council Act 1998 and three Acts of Rangamati, Khagrachari and Bandarban Hill District Councils. Similarly, the Court issued same Rule Nisi upon the Government of Bangladesh. But these two writ petitions are still pending.

Meeting of the Advisory Committee of CHTAM held

On 23 October 3007 meeting of the Advisory Committee of the CHT Affairs Ministry (CHTAM) was held at the CHTAM’s conference hall of Bangladesh Secretariat in Dhaka. Dr. Iftekhar Ahmad Chowdhury, Advisor of the CHTAM of Caretaker Government presided over the meeting. Among others, Chairman of CHT Regional Council Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma, Circle Chief of the Chakma Circle Barrister Raja Devasish Roy, Chairman of Rangamati Hill District Council (HDC) Mr. Jagat Jyoti Chakma, Chairman of Khagrachari HDC Mr. Manindra Lal Tripura, Chairman of the Bandarban HDC Mr. Thanzama Lusai attended the meeting.

Development activities of the CHT region, implementation of the CHT Accord, transfer of subjects to HDCs, land commission and resolution of land disputes, relief support to affected Jum cultivators etc. were discussed in the meeting. However, no concrete decision was taken in the meeting. Chairman of CHT Regional Council Mr. Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma and Circle Chief of the Chakma Circle Barrister Raja Devasish Roy raised the issue of judicial separation of three hill districts of CHT region. It is mentionable that national dailies published that judicial separation would not be made in three hill districts.



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