Presented by
Justice Mirza Hussain Haider
Supreme Court of Bangladesh
31 August, Thimphu, Bhutan
 The Constitution of the People’s Republic of
Bangladesh, 1972
* Article 102 – Power of High Court Division to issue
certain orders and directions, etc.
* Article 18A – Protection and improvement of
environment and biodiversity
* Article 31 – Right to protection of law
* Article 32 – Protection of right to life and
personal liberty
* Article 40 – Freedom of profession or occupation
 The Penal Code, 1860
* Section 268 – provides punishment for the offence of
committing a public nuisance
* Sections 269 & 270 – a negligent act resulting in an infection
that is dangerous to life is an offence
* Sections 272 to 276 – acts of adulteration of food, drinks and
drugs are offences
* Section 277 – contaminating the water of a public spring or
reservoir to make it unfit for ordinary use is a punishable offence
* Section 278 – poisoning the atmosphere to the detriment of
persons living in the neighborhood or passing along a public
way is a punishable offence
* Sections 284 to 287 – negligence in the use of poisonous
substance, fire and combustible matter, explosive substances and
machinery is also punishable if it results in danger to human life
 The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
* Section 9 – empowers the court to try suits of
civil nature – relief in the form of damages,
injunction, interim orders, declaration and decree
* Section 91 – suit may be filed in case of a public
nuisance or other wrongful acts affecting or likely
to affect the public
* Order 1 Rule 8 – class action
 The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898
* Section 133 – an executive magistrate can
interfere and remove a pubic nuisance of an
environmental nature
* Section 142 – he can adopt immediate measures
to prevent danger or injury of a serious kind to the
* Section 144 – for prevention of danger to human
life, health or safety, the magistrate can direct a
person to abstain from certain acts
 The Environment Conservation Act, 1995
* Section 4(3) – Power of the DG, DoE to issue direction for the closure,
prohibition or regulation of any industry, initiative or process
* Section 8(2) – Power of the DG to adopt any measures including
public hearings for settling an application regarding environmental
pollution or degradation
* Section 14 – Any person aggrieved may prefer an appeal to the
appellate authority and the order passed by such authority on appeal
shall be final and no suit can be filed in any court against such order
*Section 4, 6, 6A, 9, 12 – Offences - Non-compliance with directions,
harmful activities in ECAs; emitting injurious smoke from vehicles;
manufacture, sale of injurious articles; discharge of excessive
environmental pollutants; operating industry/project without
environmental clearance
 The Environment Court Act, 2010
* Section 4 – Establishment of Environment Courts in each
district to try offences under the ECA and any other law
specified by the government for the purposes of this law
* Section 5 – Establishment of Special Magistrate
* Section 6 – Jurisdiction of Special Magistrate Court
* Section 7 – Jurisdiction of Environment Court
* Section 20- Environment Appellate Court
Sub-ordinate Civil Courts Jurisdiction
District Judge
Admits, hears and disposes:
(1) Civil Appeals from subordinate courts
(2)Civil Revision
Additional District Judge
Hears and disposes cases as transferred to it by District Judge
Joint District Judge
Admits, hears and disposes Civil Suits of original jurisdiction valued more than
Senior Assistant Judge
Admits, hears and disposes civil suits of original jurisdiction of valued in
between Tk. 2,00,000.00 to 4,00,000.00
Assistant Judge
Admits, hears and disposes civil suits of original jurisdiction valued upto
Sub-ordinate Criminal Courts Jurisdiction
Sessions Judge
Hears, on transfer from Magistracy, criminal Cases having sentence of Death and
Imprisonment more than 10 years.
Additional Sessions Judge
Alike the Sessions Judge
Assistant Sessions Judge
Hears criminal cases having sentence of Imprisonment upto 10 years
Judicial Magistrate of 1st Class
Takes cognizance of criminal cases and transfers them to appropriate sessions court.
Tries offense having sentence upto 5 years
Judicial Magistrate of 2nd Class
Judicial Magistrate of 3rd Class
Executive Magistrate
Holds Mobile Court
Admits& tries Section 144, Section 145, Section 107 of the Cr.PC.
 Nos. of courts – 3 (Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet)
 Nos. of cases filed since 2002– 1123
 Nos. of cases disposed of – 424
 Nos. of pending cases - 699
 Issues involved – manufacture, sale, etc. of polythene;
discharging of excessive environmental pollutant by
industries; industries/brick kilns operating without
environmental clearance; cutting of hills, vehicles
emitting smoke injurious to environment; illegal and
unplanned construction; noise pollution
 The Bangladesh Environment
Conservation Act, 1995
*Section 8(2) empowers D.G. to hold
public hearing and take any other
measure for disposing of any
application or resolving any
dispute in respect of environment.
 The Environment Court Act, 2010
* Section 18 –Dispute Resolution
– this provision is subject to prior
approval and satisfaction of the DG,
- include a condition of depositing of
TK 50,000 to the office of DG, DoE
and compliance of the order of the DG
or his empowered agent before
availing this opportunity
 Legal and Judicial
 Political, Social and Economic- environment still a footnote
* inequity and poverty-parties not on equal footing
* mass representation, lack of organization at the community
level (PIL)
* administrative relief – bias, partial
* lack of sub-ordinate rules (mode of public hearing, consultation
not defined)
* unclear/limited/overlapping jurisdiction of the environment
* lack of access to information/dispute over facts –(committee,
experts, calling of records)
* restrictive interpretation of the legal provision
* scientific and technical expertise/ understanding
* enforcement (continuing mandamus)

Justice Mirza Hussain Haider - Asian Judges Network on