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Questions raised about Quader’s status over holding meeting with Chief Justice

CJ apprised of govt stance on 16th Amendment

More meetings to be held over the issue, says Quader Review may be sought if necessary, says Law Minister

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14th-Aug-2017       
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Special Correspondent  :
The Saturday night’s sudden meeting between the Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has drawn the notice of the political and other concerned circles.

It became talk of the country on Sunday when none of the CJ or Obaidul Quader, who is also General Secretary of ruling Awami League, disclosed the agenda of the two- hour long meeting that was followed by dinner.

In fact, the meeting between the duo is getting high importance in the prevailing political circumstance while the ruling and opposition political camps are engaged in a tug of war following the cancellation of 16th Amendment by the country’s apex court.  

Quoting the Minister, Senior Information Officer of Road Transport and Bridges Ministry Md Abu Naser yesterday told The New Nation, “Both of them held important meeting from 8:00pm to 10:00 pm where the minister also joined dinner hosted by the CJ.”

But sources close to the Awami League said that main object of the meeting was nothing but to apprise the CJ of the ruling party stance on the recent annulment of the 16th Amendment of the Constitution.

Quader informed SK Sinha that the government as well the Awami League both have got aggrieved over the judgment, particularly some parts of the court observation, terming it totally irrelevant, the sources said.

Echoing the same, Quader told a public meeting in the capital yesterday that he had informed the CJ about his government and party’s stance over the scrapping of the 16th amendment. “There will be more meeting between the two sides over the same issue,” he said.

Questions have been raised how the General Secretary of the ruling party could meet the CJ over such a sensitive issue. The concerned circles of the country are also surprised hearing that such meetings will also be held with the CJ over the same issue in the future. How the ruling party’s General Secretary could announce such programme? Who has given him such authority?      

As per Constitution, the Chief Justice and other Judges shall be appointed by the President. So, only the President has the authority to get clarification from the CJ over any judgment.

Besides, the Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque can play a role on behalf of his government to deal with any issue deemed important by the government. It’s a big question, how Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader could take the initiatives to negotiate with the CJ?

Ii is not the end. Several Awami League leaders, ministers and pro-government lawyers have expressed their discontent over the verdict. Not only that some ministers and ruling party leaders have harshly criticised the CJ over the issue and demanded his resignation.

Some found ‘politics’ in the observation of the court and conspiracy too. The AL sources said the party will do its best to make the verdict questionable. Especially, the AL leaders and ministers have taken tough stance against the CJ in line with the strategy.

About the same issue, Law Minister Anisul Haque on Sunday said that “unacceptable” statements have been used in the verdict and its observation.

“The history was distorted in the observation that said the country did not get independence through a single person’s leadership…. I’ve read out the verdict. Though the name of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not mentioned there, it was irrelevant. If necessary, the government will seek review to expunge the statements,” the minister said while addressing ‘meet the press’ at Dhaka Reporter’s Unity in the city.

While Anisul Haque was asked about the agenda of CJ and Quader’s meeting, he said, “Meetings between the judiciary, legislative and executive branches can be continued for the sake of the country and people.”

Meanwhile, BNP General Secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has expressed his “astonishment” over the Saturday night’s meeting between CJ and Quader, saying that government was creating pressure on the judiciary to change the verdict.

“We’ve learnt through the media reports that Awami League’s General Secretary Obaidul Quader met the CJ SK Sinha to discuss the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. We are surprised, worried and also afraid seeing this.”

The BNP leader also said the language the Awami League leaders are using to express their views over the verdict was not “political” at all; rather it’s the language of terrorism.  

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