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Supreme Court Day today

6 Sr lawyers express grave concern over undermining judiciary

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02nd-Jan-2018       
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Staff Reporter :
Six Senior Lawyers of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh have expressed grave concern over the disciplinary rules for the lower court judges regarding which the government recently issued a gazette notification.
The six lawyers in a joint statement said that the protection extended by that decision to the independence of the judiciary has been undermined by three cardinal Rules as are to be made under Article 115 and 116 for the subordinate judiciary now framed under Article 133 under the Executive Chapter, thereby treating the Judges of the subordinate judiciary having been made subordinate to the Executive Branch.
They have reminded that " We are observing Supreme Court Day on 2nd January 2018, in commemoration of the opening of this Supreme Court by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 18th December 1972. At this juncture the Supreme Court is without its Head (Chief Justice) and judicial organ of the Republic continue to remain without the Chief Justice."
The rules have "thus violated the scheme for separation of power further sanctified by the judgement in Masder Hossain Case. Those Rules as are mandated under the Constitution now framed in a non-transparent manner and without due deliberations, nor following effective consultations with both Divisions of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh," they said.
Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister Rafiqul Huq, Barrister M Amir-ul Islam, Barrister Mainul Hosein, Advocate A F Hassan Ariff, Barrister Fida M Kamal signed the statement issued on 31st night in 2017.
The statement was issued on the occasion of observing Supreme Court Day today (2nd January, 2018) for the first time under the banner of "Our Message on the Supreme Court Day."
The statement said, "The subordinate judiciaries' appointment and transfer have thus been placed under the Executive Branch (Chapter-II- The Prime Minister and Cabinet). This being done while the seat of Chief Justice kept vacant creating a void thereby in the Republic itself. In the process judiciary has been placed under the authority and control of the Executive Branch taking the country back in 1999 in the Pre 'Masder Hossain' era."
 It added, "Yet, on this occasion we feel proud in sharing the rich heritage of Bangladesh Supreme Court while protecting and defending fundamental rights of the people also rose to the occasions in preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution along with integrity, independence and separation of Judiciary, with particular mention to some of those judgments, among many others, (a) holding the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution purporting to fragment the High Court Division having been declared as ultra vires to the unitary character of the Republic when the High Court Division was fragmented in Seven Divisional Head Quarters, (b) the Fifth & Seventh Amendment Case, declaring Martial Law proclamation ultra vires to the Constitution, (c) the decision which saved the Chittagong Port from being leased out for over 100 years to a foreign company, (d) the decision which declared void the voters' list which had contained more than 1,40,00,00 false votes in 2007 and indeed the recent judgment holding the Sixteenth Amendment (parliamentary removal of judges of Supreme Court) to be void. These landmark decisions continue to act as the beacon light for upholding the supremacy of the Constitution for all times to come by defining & identifying basic structure of the Constitution which are not amenable to any amendment."
  "What then are we to celebrate on Supreme Court Day other than to seek unitedly and with determination, mobilizing all our efforts to be united on the basic structure of the Constitution to be protected for safeguarding the rights of the people based on universal consensus for an independent & competent judiciary guaranteed and protected by the Constitution, not to be subordinated by the executive Branch in any manner," also read the statement.

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