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Commentary

Strong judiciary needs zero tolerance to cases abusing political power

By Editorial Desk
26th-Dec-2016       
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The Chief Justice's statement on last Saturday, stating our state organs too busy in establishing supremacy over others is not a new phenomenon in Bangladesh. But at present, the organ of dispensing justice, the judiciary, is targeted to make it totally subservient to the Parliament and in turn to the Prime Minister by taking the power of punishing the Chief Justice and other justices of the Supreme Court.

Most damaging thing that the government has already done in diminishing public faith in the judiciary by burdening it with politically motivated criminal cases. In the name of fighting terrorism and corruption, the police and Anti-Corruption Commission are having all the freedom to file cases after cases on mere suspicions. The Chief Justice is aware of it while asking the lower courts to exercise power judiciously.

Big crimes and big corruption are being committed under political protection. We are living with lies. The alleged accused must not be granted bail. The practice is persons should be first arrested and sent to jail and the investigation into allegation will follow. This cannot be called justice under strong judiciary.

Many may suggest that such police cases are baseless cases filed not to fight crime or corruption. Because, filing of such court cases has become a good business for some people in police and other law-enforcing agencies.

With all respect, we disagree with the Chief Justice that more judges should be needed to deal with backlog of cases. The strong and effective courts should show zero tolerance to political cases.

His other suggestion to expedite trials and dismiss cases if investigation is not completed with the time limit is praiseworthy and well-considered and we support it.

But the most urgent cause of backlog of cases is the indulgence the courts give to politically motivated cases. Or allow the government to do politics with court cases adding not only to the burden of too many cases, but also putting the courts under too much political pressure. This aspect should have received due importance. The Chief Justice should have said, 'zero tolerance' to using courts for politics.

It is also not helpful for taking the weight of frivolous case when bail is denied easily. This is not a good example of bail orders even when passed by High Court Division of the Supreme Court is stayed by the Appellate Division of the same Supreme Court.

 Nobody will say that former Chief Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury was a weak judge, but he asked the lower court judges to be courageous. A judge if not courageous for the cause of justice, he is not a judge. He spoke against police remand being used for securing confession through torture. Justice Chowdhury described getting bail is one's right. He was even critical of the fact that when bail is granted by courts below, but the higher courts cancel the same.

A strong judiciary has nothing to fear of dominance by other organs of the state, because the judiciary is the guardian of the Constitution and other organs must remain within the limits that the Constitution demands. 

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