January 26, 2021 In Newspaper Post

Take steps to prevent dolphin killing in Halda: HC to govt

The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned of the government to immediately take  necessary steps to prevent the killing of dolphins in Halda river in Chattogram.

It also asked the director of Department of Environment in Chattogram to submit a report to this court through email within 72 hours, detailing which measures have been taken to prevent killing of dolphins in Halda river and ensure their protection.

Secretaries to the ministries of fisheries and livestock, and forest and environment, director general of department of environment (DoE), director of DoE in Chattogram, deputy commissioner of Chattogram, and Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Raozan in Chattogram have been ordered to take necessary steps to protect the dolphins.

The High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan came up with the order and rule after holding a virtual hearing on a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Abdul Qaium Litan seeking necessary directives to protect the dolphins and environment.

Barrister Abdul himself argued for the petition while Attorney General Mahbubey Alarm, Additional Attorney General Murad Reza, Deputy Attorney General Samarendranath Bishwas and Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder represented the state during the virtual hearing.

This is for the first time in the history of Bangladesh that the High Court heard a writ petition through digital means.

During the court proceedings, Justice Obaidul Hassan extended thanks to President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Law Minister Anisul Huq for launching virtual court functions for hearing and disposing of cases using technology.

Virtual court functions are the first step in establishing e-judiciary in the country, the HC judge observed.

Barrister Abdul Qaium filed the writ petition with the High Court on May 11 seeking its directive on the respondents to immediately take necessary steps to prevent killing dolphins in Halda river in Chattogram and to protect them.

He submitted the petition as a public interest litigation through email.

In the petition,  the lawyer prayed to the High Court to issue a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why their failure to prevent killing dolphins in Halda river should not be declared illegal.

Abdul Qaium said in the writ petition that total 24 dolphins in Halda river  were killed since 2017 till date, endangering the environment and ecology, according to a report published on The Daily Star online on May 8.

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