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President`s high and impartial position must not be abused

By Editorial Desk
15th-Dec-2016       
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The eight-member Court of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court presided over by the Chief Justice Mr. SK Sinha repeated their earlier order of issuing  gazette notification on the revised rules of conduct for the lower court judges blaming the concerned authority for explaining the matter wrongly for the understanding of the President.

Luckily for us, President Abdul Hamid was a practicing lawyer himself and we find it unbelievable that he would take a decision on simple matter like observing procedural formality. Some 'wise' persons somewhere have been working and still working to obstruct smooth running of the government by maintaining mutually complementary and respectable relations between the government and the judiciary. 

In whatever form the present Constitution exists, the judiciary is sovereign in its own designated sphere. According to the principles of separation of powers the government also has its own sphere of dominance. The judiciary is very much part of the good governance.

During the hearing of historical Brexit case in the Supreme Court of UK both the Judges and the lawyers made one thing crystal clear at the very outset that they are not trespassing into the domain of government's decision to exit European Union, they are only examining the relevant laws and the obligation, if any, created under such laws. 

In our present context, quite unnecessarily an embarrassing situation has been created for the President as well as for the Chief Justice by a circular issued by the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs stating that the President decided that there was no need for publishing in the gazette the revised rules of conduct for the judicial officers and judicial service as made by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court earlier directed the Law Ministry officials to make these revised rules part of a gazette notification for the purpose of investing legal enforceability.

It is unfortunate and most reprehensible that there is a tendency being widely practised by some government officials for their arrogance of power not to take the responsibility of advising the government rightly.

There is a disturbing sense of unaccountability in almost all spheres of public affairs. The result is that in running the government everybody feels he has absolute power unfettered by law or higher authority. Some say that low level officials are more to be feared for their power to abuse. Departmental discipline is weak everywhere.

To mention one area in particular, discipline among the police is under serious threat. Many among that enforcers have become used to flouting fundamental rights of personal freedom and torture free life. Young ones are worst victims of the government's fight against terrorism. 

The people have to fear the police, RAB and Anti-Corruption officials. They all feel that the general public have nowhere to go for redress. Arresting people and involving them in as many cases as they choose has become too easy. There is no pride for the government of a free country to make people live in fear and uncertainty.

Emanates from this sense of unaccountability, is a kind of arrogance that the laws are not to be taken seriously by the decision makers in the government. They are also often wrongly advised without caring to understand that power must have a basis in law and the people have rights to be respected.

If we care to have a responsible government then we have to accept that the judiciary is an integral part of the government. Without the judiciary, the government will be a lawless government to ensure anarchy in the country. Then everybody's word will be law. As it is the country is heading towards that serious lawlessness. And many such abuses of power incidents are not reported out of fear of police power. 

The President has not disagreed with revised rules made for consistency with the separation of the judiciary from the executive. The gazette notification is a legal necessity and in this regard the decision of their Lordships of the Supreme Court should have been readily accepted.

The government needs to be careful about their overzealous advisers. Those who advise arbitrary power want lawlessness within the government. Who are they and whom they represent must be found out.

The President's high and impartial position must not be compromised.

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