Judge feels embarrassed to hear writ for halting Rampal power plantStaff Correspondent
A two-judge High Court bench on Wednesday felt embarrassed to hear a writ petition seeking to halt the foundation stone laying of Rampal power plant project near the Sundarbans forest until an assessment of the environmental impact of the project was conducted.
The senior judge of the bench, Justice Naima Haider, passed an order stating that the writ petition would be sent to the chief justice, Md Muzammel Hossain, for constituting another bench to dispose the petition.
Justice Zafar Ahmed, who felt embarrassed to hear the petition being a junior member of the bench, however, did not mention in open court the reason behind his embarrassment.
On Monday, the same bench adjourned the hearing till Wednesday asking the writ petitioners’ counsel Manzill Murshid to come up with copies of the High Court orders issued earlier on the power project following two public interest litigations.
The court said it needed to know what terms were used in issuing rules pending for disposal.
On March 1, 2010, the High Court asked the government to maintain status quo on signing a deal with an Indian company for installing a coal-fired thermal power plant at Rampal in Bagerhat, 14 kilometres off the Sundarbans.
In April, the government, however, singed the project after the High Court had vacated the order of status quo on the project signing. Attorney general Mahbubey Alam argued for rejecting the latest PIL saying that the government would get power at low cost if the power plant was constructed but a quarter tried to make the project controversial.
Four lawyers Asaduzzaman Siddique, Md Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan, Mahbubul Islam and Sayeda Shaheen Ara Laily filed the petition on Sunday.
The writ petition also sought another directive to form a committee composed of national and international experts to evaluate the environmental impact of the proposed power plant project of which the foundation stone is scheduled to be laid on October 22.
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