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Phone call to HC judge

SCBA demands minister’s removal

06 February 2014 bdnews24.com

The Supreme Court Bar Association has demanded the removal of the minister who on Monday had phoned one of the High Court judges during the hearing of a bank loan suit.
The association also demanded initiation of contempt of court proceedings and criminal case against the minister. SCBA General Secretary and BNP Joint Secretary General Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon raised the demand at a press conference on Wednesday.
"We demand an end to the government's influence on the judges of the country's apex court and lower courts to ensure justice," he said.
The bench of Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader and Justice AKM Shahidul Huq declined to hear a bank loan-related suit after getting a phone call from a minister and sent the case to the Chief Justice for further action. Senior judge of the bench, Justice Chaklader, said on Monday, "During the hearing of this matter, a minister called one of us; we are, therefore, not inclined to hear this matter. Let this matter be placed before the Chief Justice for appropriate orders."
The case documents were, accordingly, sent to the Chief Justice. The judges, however, did not reveal the minister's name. Barrister Khokon said on Wednesday that the incident showed that the government was interfering in the matters of the judiciary.
He said their association demanded that the Prime Minister sack the minister and wants the Chief Justice start contempt of court and a criminal cases against the minister through the Registrar ( Supreme Court).
Responding to a query, Khokon said that they had learnt that the minister was also a cabinet member in the last Grand Alliance government and poll-time interim government.
According to the case details, one SMA Muhith, proprietor of Barendra International, had taken a Tk 7 million loan from the Jamuna Bank in 2002. The bank says Barendra International owes it Tk 21.7 million including interest.
But the borrower claims he owes the bank only Tk 8.4 million. The dispute led to multiple cases being filed at both lower and higher courts.

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