May 192019

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on Sunday said Accord, a European agency for factory inspection and remediation, can continue its activities for 281 days from May 8, when a memorandum of understanding was signed between Accord and Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in this regard.

The BGMEA will form a cell in the Accord and they will jointly inspect and ensure safety and security of garments factories and workers in Bangladesh, the apex court said.

The SC also ruled that the Accord will leave the country after 281 days from the date of signing of the MoU between Accord and BGMEA, said Barrister Imtiaz Mainul Islam, the lawyer for BGMEA told journalists.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after disposing of an appeal filed by Accord challenging a High Court verdict.

The HC last year directed the Accord to stop its activities in Bangladesh after November 30 last.

The decision came after Bangladesh’s garment makers and European retailers reached an agreement.

The Accord was signed in the immediate aftermath to the Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, which killed 1,133 workers and critically injured thousands more.

Over 220 companies signed the five-year Accord, and by May 2018, the work of the Accord had contributed to significantly safer workplaces for millions of Bangladeshi garment workers.

Accord conducts inspection and remediation activities for more than 200 global clothing retailers and brands.

Additional Attorney General Sohrab Reza appeared for the government, while Advocate Salah Uddin Ahmed stood for the Accord.

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