The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has annulled a High Court order that declared the houses built for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker on the premises of Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Bhaban as illegal.
A three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddque, delivered the verdict on Tuesday (August 16) following a writ petition.
Barrister Tanjib Ul Alam argued on behalf of the petitioner, while Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad Morshed represented the state during the hearing.
Construction work of the houses for the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker began in 2002.
In 2003, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) and the Institute of Architects filed a writ petition in the High Court challenging the legality of the construction of the two houses on the Parliament premises, citing violation of the original design of the Parliament Building by architect Louis I Kahn.
On June 21 in 2004, the High Court passed an order on the petition saying that the construction of the two buildings on the JS premises were illegal and directed to declare the National Parliament House as ‘national heritage’.
Later, the Appellate Division suspended the High Court’s order after an appeal from the state and granted them leave to appeal against the order.
Subsequently, the state’s lawyers submitted a regular appeal challenging the High Court’s order. In the meantime, the construction of the residential buildings of the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker was completed.
In 2015, during a hearing on the appeal, the Appellate Division asked the state to present the original design of Louis I Kahn, which it did later.
Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban or National Parliament Building is located at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in Dhaka. Designed while the country was still part of Pakistan by architect Louis I Kahn, the complex is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world, covering 200 acres.
Construction work of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban began in 1961. The construction work was halted during the Bangladesh War of Liberation in 1971 and was completed on January 28 in 1982. Louis I Kahn died when the project was approximately three-quarters completed and it continued under David Wisdom, who worked for Louis I Kahn.