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July 13, 2003 

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Your Advocate

This week your advocate is M. Moazzam Husain of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. His professional interests include civil law, criminal law and constitutional law. Send your queries to the Law Desk, The Daily Star. A panel of lawyers
will address your problems.

Q: My father was a Bangladesh railway employee. He purchased a house at H/9, Block-E, Zakir Hossain Road, Mohammadpur, Dhaka on 22.09. 1961, vide registered deed 9775, in my mothers name. Since then we had been living there peacefully. During the was of liberation, moved to our present address for the sake of our lives keeping the house under lock. After the end of was, we found our house occupied by some persons. My father tried hard to get back possession of the house through proper channel, but failed. In the meantime, the government constituted court of settlement for releasing the properties declared as abandoned properties to their original owners, who are Bangladeshi national. Accordingly we filed our case before the said court of settlement. The court found our claim to be genuine and allowed the case in our favour by its judgement and order dated 8.1.1994 and ordered for exclusion of our house from the list of abandoned properties and to hand over possession of the house to us. The government being aggrieved by the judgement, filed a writ petition before the High Court. The High Court vide judgement dated 4.8.1998 of writ petition no. 1749 of 1994 upheld judgement of the court of settlement. The government again filed leave petition before the Appellate Division against the High Court's judgement. The Appellate Division dismissed the government's petition. In the meantime the persons who occupied our house sensing the judgement of the Appellate Division in favour of us, filed a miscellaneous case and title suit against us before the Court of Sub Judge, Dhaka. In this circumstances, please advice us what step should we take to get back our house peacefully.
Zheda Sultana,
28/1, Nabin Chandra Goswami Road,
Faridabad, Dhaka.

Your Advocate : You have very nicely articulated your grievances. Thank you for your eloquent expressions in appropriate legal phraseologies. Your case is very unfortunate and lingering sense of deprivation has seemingly carried you beyond the bounds of legal technicality and to seek redress in the pages of news paper. I wish it would not have happened.
I have gone through your problem. You are lucky in the sense that you have won the battle against the Government up to the Supreme Court on the question whether the house should be treated as abandoned property or not. Now just before your turn to reap the harvest the actual occupier of the house has filed a title suit and , as you say, a miscellaneous case against you in respect of the property got by you after such a long battle of attrition. In view of the present position of law and procedure in our country I find it really difficult to show you a short-cut. Court of settlement can not determine the question of title of the parties. Its jurisdiction is circumscribed by law to be confined to the question of abandonment. Therefore, the occupier has taken the opportunity of law and designedly filed the title suit so as to continue with the possession at least as long as the suit continues. You have no other alternative but to fight through and find means how to end up the ordeal as quickly as possible.
Yours is a matter sub judice and as such no more comments on it from outside are warranted. It is not possible either to advice you just on the wording of your query. Since you have come through prolonged litigation up to the Supreme Court you must have come across senior and experienced lawyers. It would be advisable for you to approach any one of them with all your papers if you have not engaged one by this time. In the peculiar background of your case I hope victory is yours.


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