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9 May, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Appeal against 16th Amendment verdict

Appellate Division begins hearing

STAFF REPORTER

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court yesterday started hearing an appeal filed by the government against a High Court (HC) verdict declaring illegal the 16th Amendment to the constitution. The law gives Parliament the authority to remove Supreme Court judges on grounds of incapacity or misbehaviour. The much-awaited case hearing began last morning, with Additional Attorney General Murad Reza reading out from the High Court verdict.
At the end of the day’s hearing, the five-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, adjourned the hearing till today. Earlier, on February 8, the SC appointed 12 senior jurists as amicus curiae (friends of court), seeking their opinions on the legality of the 16th Amendment. On September 17, 2014, the Jatiya Sangsad passed unopposed the 'Constitution (16th Amendment) Bill, 2014', empowering Parliament to impeach judges of the Supreme Court for their incapacity or misconduct.
Nine Supreme Court lawyers filed a writ petition with the High Court on November 5, 2014, questioning the legality of the new law.
The petition also sought an order seeking a stay on the operation of the 16th Amendment and also against the enactment any law authorising the removal of Supreme Court judges.
Hearing on the rule began on May 21, 2015, when four eminent lawyers—Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister M Amir-ul Islam, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud and Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC—made their submissions to the court as amicus curiae. After a preliminary hearing, the HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued a rule asking the government to explain why the Amendment should not be declared illegal for being contrary to the tenets of the Constitution. On May 5, 2016, a three-member special HC bench, headed by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, in a majority verdict, declared the 16th Amendment to the constitution illegal. The HC, however, allowed the government to appeal before the Appellate Division against the verdict. On January 4 this year, the government filed an appeal against the HC verdict with the apex court.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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