Modhumoti buyers to get twice as refund

The appeal court has ruled that buyers of illegal Modhumoti Model Town project plots will get back refund twice the money they paid.The full verdict of the Supreme Court came on a petition that accused the real estate developer, Metro Makers & Developers, of having filled water bodies in violation of environment laws.
Though the six-judge bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain pronounced the verdict in August last year, the full verdict was published on the Supreme Court website on Thursday night.
Besides ruling Modhumoti Model Town illegal, the verdict said that no institution or individual could own more than 100 Bighas of land. Authorities can impound excessive land.
Justices Surendra Kumar Sinha and Syed Mahmud Hossain wrote the full verdict.
Chief Justice Hossain, Justices Nazmun Ara Sultana, Md Imman Ali and Shamsul Huda agreed with Syed Mahmud Hossain, which is why his opinion is being considered as the main verdict.
In the full verdict, Metro Makers were directed to restore the wetlands in Bilamalia and Bailarpur Moujas in Savar’s Amin Bazar to their original state within six months.
“Metro Makers are further directed to refund the purchasers double the amount of the money including the cost of registration of the deeds of sale received by them from the purchasers within six months from the
date of availability of the certified copy of the judgment,” the ruling added.
Otherwise, it continued, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakhha will be entitled to restore the wetlands and recover the cost of restoration from Metro Makers and their directors treating the cost as a public demand, the verdict said.
The High Court declared Modhumoti Model Town unlawful on Jul 27, 2005, upon a writ petition of Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (BELA). However, authorities were directed to protect the interest of buyers.
On that day, another writ petition of Metro Makers was thrown out.
The BELA appeal was filed on Aug 14, 2004, challenging the project. It also said that the project was not approved by Rajuk.
Metro Makers, the prime company in charge of Modhumoti Model Town project, had appealed against the verdict. Even BELA appealed against a portion of the rule.
BELA Lawyer Iqbal Kabir Liton said the new verdict will save Amin Bazar’s flood-prone areas and also help reduce water-logging in Dhaka.

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