The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Land Dispute Resolution Commission (amended) Act, paving the way for the formation of a five-member Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission for resolving land disputes in the three hilly districts. The approval was given at a meeting, which was held at the Cabinet Division with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
After the meeting, cabinet secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters that the land commission, headed by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, comprising circle chief (Raja) of the district concerned, the hill district council and the regional council (Anchalik Parishad), and the divisional commissioner of Chittagong division, would be formed to resolve the land disputes in the hilly districts.
As per the amended Act, the cabinet secretary explained, the attendance of the chairman and two other members at the meeting shall be necessary for maintaining quorum and the chairman of the commission shall preside over all meetings. Majority decisions, including those of the chairman of the commission, would be granted under the amended Act, he added.
Section 6(1)(c) of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Dispute Resolution Commission Act says, “Any land that has been given in settlement in violation of the existing laws of CHT, shall be cancelled, and if any lawful owner has been illegally occupied on account of such settlement, shall be restored: Provided that, this sub-section shall not be applicable in case of Reserved Forests, Kaptai Hydroelectricity Project area, Betbunia Earth Satellite Station, state-owned industries and land recorded with the Government or local authorities,” he said, quoting the amended Act. M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan added that the Cabinet asked the Chittagong Hill Tracts ministry to prepare a draft rule of the amended Act within 3 months.
Meanwhile, the cabinet secretary also announced that the meeting has exempted telephone bills of 8 MPs who have passed away, amounting to Tk. 11,90,149.09.
The MPs are: the late Ibrahim Bin Khalil, the late Momota Wahab, the late Sheikh Shakhawat Rahman, the late Mir Shahadatur Rahman and the late Abdul Barek of 4th Parliament, the late Azizul Haque Mollah and the late Mossarrof Hosain of 5th Parliament, and the late Abdul Latif Mirza of 7th Parliament.
-With The Independent input