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People will vote but govt will decide election victory

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Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association organised a seminar on \'Democracy, Rule of Law and Freedom of Judiciary\' at the Shaheed Shafiur Rahman Auditorium of SCBA on Sunday. SCBA President Advocate Joynul Abedin presided over the seminar. Among others,

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Without the independence of judiciary the democracy and rule of law cannot be established in the country. People are now increasingly losing their trust in judiciary, as the ruling party has started using it as a tool for dominance and control of the oppositions, said speakers at a seminar.
They alleged that the country's judiciary has been politicized in its history. Merit is rejected here; only political identity is the criteria for recruitment.
They were addressing the seminar titled "Democracy, Rule of Law and the Independence of Judiciary" at the Supreme Court Bar Auditorium in the capital on Sunday afternoon.
Presenting the keynote paper at the seminar, Professor Dr. Burhan Uddin Khan, Law Department of Dhaka University, said  "after 47 years of independence, we are still fighting for democracy, rule of law and the independence of judiciary.
"The people of Bangladesh could not enjoy the real beauty of democracy. The existing situation has worsened rather than 1990's decade of autocracy," he said.
He added, "There is no freedom of speech here. The recently passed Digital Security Act catches up the throat of freedom of speech."
The barriers to access to justice are denial of fundamental rights ensured by the Constitution to the citizens of Bangladesh. It provides that the citizens are entitled to a "society, free from exploitation where the rule of law, equality and justice will be secured.
Speaking at the seminar, former Vice-Chancellor of DU and a prominent political scientist Professor Dr. Emajuddin Ahamed said, the close door situation for non-existence of democracy in the country can't run for long.
"Every organ of the country -- judiciary, parliament, and executive -- has been destroyed due to lack of real practises of democracy. People of the country feel insecure everywhere," he said.
Dr. Emajuddin said, since 2008 Awami League has been ruling the country based on pro-Awami minded bureaucrats. They were recruited not on merit basis, but on the criteria of loyalty to the Awami League.  The AL cadres, who are controlling all things, have filled up the administration.
"Bangladesh's people have soft corner for democracy. They love democracy, believe in democracy. But few of the looters have betrayed with their believe," he said.
All constitutional bodies - EC, PSC, ACC -- have been occupied by the Awami servants. They don't have backbone. For any decision they wait to come it from one person, he added.
ASM Abdur Rab, President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal, said, democracy nowadays has banished and repressed.
Even voting rights of the people have hijacked. Constitution does not reflect the wishes of the mass people now; rather the ruling party is using it for its own purposes.
When the chief justice of the country and the former three times prime minister do not get justice, how can we expect justice? Rab said.
He added, "Today Khaleda Zia is in Jail but mind it you all have to enter the jail one day. After all, we have to make the demise of this government by any cost."
Barrister Mainul Hosein most assertive in saying that the unity under Dr Kamal Hossain must be strong and without consideration of who gets what. Politics is not all about muscle power, it is also about right thinking and right strategy.
He categorically stated that under the bureaucratic system of election the voters may vote any way they like but election victory will decided by the government. There are election engineers for that.
Barrister Mainul said that we all must support the unity efforts knowing that voting right is not a matter of party politics but a national crisis affecting all of us.
After 47 years, of independence we are now engaged in a fight for our vote not being counted for election victory of the government. The political leaders did not build democracy rather worked for degrading and decaying the democratic institutions, he added.
Barrister Mainul reminded the lawyers that lack of unity among them has weakened the judiciary, otherwise no government would have dared to force a Chief Justice to leave the country so disgracefully. The four judges also would not have behaved so obligingly to the President. The fear of insecurity worked.
Nagarik Oikya Convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna said this miss rule should not be allowed to continue anymore; we all have to rise up against this government. So, in this situation those who are lawyers they have to play an important role to undo all conspiracies of the government.
If we are successful to out this government and finally if a new government comes we will have strong application to make the absolute freedom of Judiciary; Manna added.  
Founder of Gonoshasthaya Kendra Dr. Zafrullah Chowdhury said, law has two kind of use -- one for good governance and another for repression. Nowadays in our country law is using for repression of opposition. Specially, law is being used for those who are criticizing the government. Digital Security Act is the latest example.
He said, there is contribution of judiciary to change this situation. Change will come. Lawyers will have to contribute in this change, he added.
BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed said, there is no accountability of the government that is why missing, killing and abduction has become the daily activities of the government.
This government wants to participate in the election but they don't want to face the mass people that mean they want power somehow without people's vote; he added.         
BNP's Vice-Chairman and journalist leader Shaukat Mahmood criticized the Digital Security Act and said, the journalist community will severely suffer by this law.
Senior advocate and Gono Forum Executive President Subrata Chowdhury said, the whole country became a prison cell. 18 crore people are captive. Fascist ruler controls the country.
He also warned the government saying that how the destruction will happen nobody will knows.  
 Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Advocate Zainul Abedin chaired the programme while Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon moderated it.
Former President of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and BNP's Vice- Chairmen Advocate Khandaker Mahbub Hossain was present at the seminar.

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