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SC upholds HC ban on 'Nirapon' activities

FE REPORT | December 03, 2019 00:00:00

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld on Monday a High Court order that imposed a six-month ban on activities of Nirapon, a local entity that was formed with the backing of 23 North American apparel brands and retailers, replacing the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety.

A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after dismissing a petition filed by Nirapon against the High Court order.

Advocate Imtiaz Mainul Islam who appeared in the court on behalf of the writ petitioner, Dragon Sweater and Spinning Limited, said that the High Court's six- month ban on activities of Nirapon will continue following the Appellate Division order.

Following a writ petition filed by Dragon Sweater and Spinning Limited the High Court bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman on October 22 this year  imposed a six-month ban on activities of Nirapon.

Nirapon has been overseeing the building safety, inspection and remediation of garment factories in Bangladesh in recent months after the North American retailers' group Alliance left in December last year.

The High Court also asked Nirapon to explain within two weeks as to why it should not be ordered to join the RMG Sustainability Council.

After the High Court order, Advocate Imtiaz Mainul Islam said that they filed the write petition against Nirapon so that it would come under a common platform, the RMG Sustainability Council, for garment factory remediation works.

Dragon Sweater and Spinning Limited filed a writ petition in 2017 challenging the activities of Alliance. Subsequently they filed a supplementary writ petition challenging the activities of Nirapon. After hearing, the High Court issued a rule and imposed a six- month ban on activities of Nirapon.

Later Nirapon filed a petition with the Appellate Division against the High Court order which came into yesterday's (Monday) cause-list of the apex court.

Advocate Ahsanul Karim appeared in the court on behalf of Nirapon, Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Advocate Imtiaz Mainul Islam appeared for Dragon Sweater and Spinning Limited while Additional Attorney General Murad Reza stood for the State.

Advocate Ahsanul Karim said the Appellate Division rejected the petition of Nirapon considering the rule hearing in the High Court. Now the High Court will dispose of the matter, added the lawyer.

Earlier, at a views exchange meeting of BGMEA on September 29, apparel makers raised concern over the activities of Nirapon alleging that it had been creating confusion over safety standards and adding new cost burden in the name of monitoring and training.

They also alleged that Nirapon was creating market for service providers, especially for local training providers and qualified assessment firms, which the manufacturers could not afford after investing huge amount of money in the industry to ensure workplace safety in last five years.

Nirapon has been formed on April 29, this year by 23 brands and retailers, including Walmart, based in North America.


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