DHAKA, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Bangladesh's apex court has given six months to the country's apparel exporter's apex trade body to demolish its "illegally constructed" 16-storey office building in Dhaka.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha Sunday passed the order following a petition filed by the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Wednesday.
BGMEA Wednesday sought three-year time for shifting away from the building after it lost its final review appeal in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court on March 5 rejected the BGMEA review plea which was submitted on Dec. 8 last year, upholding the previous demolition order by a High Court which had termed the building as a "cancer" in the middle of Dhaka's picturesque Hatirjheel lake.
The Supreme Court on Nov. 8 last year released the full text of its verdict in which it upheld the High Court judgment that ordered BGMEA to immediately demolish the building at its own cost, otherwise, the relevant government authorities will demolish within 90 days of receiving the order and realize the cost from BGMEA.
BGME is considered a powerful trade body in Bangladesh representing thousands of factory owners in ready-made garment sector which make up more than three fourths of the country's annual export incomes.
Bangladesh's 28-billion-U.S.-dollar apparel export sector comprises about 5,000 factories employing more than 4 million workers, 80 percent of whom are women.
The High Court verdict order had earlier observed that the BGMEA building was built on land acquired through forgery.
No commercial establishment can be set up without the environment clearance from the Department of Environment as stated in Section 12 of the Environment Conservation Act 1995 and Rule 7(4) of the Environment Conservation Rules 1997, read the High Court verdict.
BGMEA spokesman did not give any comment.
The BGMEA building's foundation was laid in 1998 by the then Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, incumbent Bangladeshi premier, and it was opened in 2006 by the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, now largest opposition party chairperson.