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SC finally disposes of impugned WoP

By UNB, DHAKA
12th-Jan-2015       
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The long-pending dispute over the impugned state-level hierarchy-Warrant of Precedence (WoP) -- was disposed of on Sunday by the Supreme Court after further hearing on its own motion.
A five-member Appellate Division Bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice M Muzammel Hossain, passed the order saying, "The appeal is disposed of with expunction, modification, observation and findings." The President and the Prime Minister hold the first and second positions, according to the Warrant of Precedence. The state hierarchy is used for all government purposes, including ceremonial occasions.
On January 6, the SC disposed of the appeal filed by the government against the High Court judgment over the WoP-restoring the position of the Chief Justice on a par with the Speaker - number three, according to the counsel for the writ petitioner, referring to the court order.
Two days after the appeal was disposed of, the SC on its own motion took up the matter for further hearing on it after being irked following the disclosure in detail of the WoP in the name of 'verbal substance' of its order.
According to the counsel for the writ petitioner, the judges of the Appellate Division will be upgraded to the position of the full minister instead the state minister while judges of the High Court get the status of the state minister.
Since the Attorney General, the chief government law officer, holds the constitutional post, his position will be above all secretaries of the Republic while the position of the Member of Parliament (MP) will be above the Cabinet Secretary, the chiefs of the three services and Principal Secretary.
As the district judges head the subordinate courts, their position will be the upgraded one equivalent to Secretary of the Republic.
In 2011, the cabinet secretary, on behalf of the government, filed the appeal the February 4, 2010 HC verdict that declared illegal the Warrant of Precedence, which was formulated in 1986 and revised in 2008 and ordered reshuffling the state hierarchy with constitutional post-holders and district judges placed above the military chiefs.
M Ataur Rahman, a former secretary general of Bangladesh Judicial Service Association, filed the public interest litigation writ petition on December 14, 2006 challenging the validity of the revised WoP.


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