Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust and others vs. Bangladesh and others [ Gudaraghat Basti Case] [ Writ Petition No. 5915 of 2005 ]

Country Bangladesh
Category Right to Housing
Date of Judgment 15-09-2007
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  • Description

    The petitioner no.1, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (briefly as BLAST”) a leading legal aid and human rights organization filed this writ petition in the public interest to protect and promote the fundamental human rights of the people. Petitioner nos.2-5 are citizens of Bangladesh and are by profession shopkeepers, small traders, maid servants and petty private service holders respectively who are living in Gudaraghat Basti (briefly as Basti). The Basti is situated in C.S. and SA. Plot nos. 776 measuring an area 1.15 acres of land and 777 measuring an area 0.50 acres of land, total area 1.65 acres of land, under Zoarshahara Mauza. The Basti was developed in the year 1996. It was a low lying land filled with deep water. The inhabitants of the said Basti have been residing there by making bamboo platform. Most of the residents are victims of river erosion or landless people.

    There are 127 families residing in the said Basti. The petitioners and other slum dwellers are living in the said Basti by using and utilizing utilities such as water, electricity etc. by paying regular electricity and water bills in the name of Dustho Health Centre having address at West Vashantek-1 S.L. no. 3 Dhamal Court, Mirpur, Dhaka. The Government undertook a scheme for rehabilitation of the residents of Vashantek Basti and other Basti which were implemented jointly by the Ministry of Land and North South Property Development Limited (NSPDL) but the said scheme/project was subsequently stopped. One land grabber is trying to grab this land. They have already hanged a notice board titled Chandpur Shomity (Abul Kashem and others) and they are threatening the people to vacate the said Basti immediately. The existence of the said Basti is well-known among the government Ministries and departments including the Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the NGO Affairs Bureau. The Government is actively involved in alleviating the distressed conditions of the destitute people particularly women and children residing in the Basti through various programmes, awareness and co-operation of various government Ministries and agencies.


  • Judgment

    Directions are given as below as extracted from the Judgement;

    In view of the discussions made above and the preponderant judicial views emerging out of the authorities referred to above, we are of the view that the petitioners and other slum dwellers of “Gudaraghat Basti” situated on C.S. Plot nos. 776 and 777 under mouja [sic] Zoarhahara [sic], measuring an area 1.65 acres of land, shall not be evicted without their rehabilitation according to the programmes of the Government within two years from date and within this period the Government shall take appropriate step for their rehabilitation.