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POST TIME: 2 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM
SC Day to be observed today with CJ post lying vacant
Staff Reporter

SC Day to be observed today with CJ post lying vacant

The first ever Supreme Court Day will be celebrated today amid the vacancy of the post of Chief Justice. The apex court authorities will organise a meeting at the Supreme Court Judges Complex in the afternoon to observe the occasion. President Abdul Hamid will attend the meeting as chief guest. Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, who is officiating as the Chief Justice, other judges of the Appellate and High Court Divisions, and senior lawyers of the SC will be present.

At a full court meeting on October 25 last year, the SC authorities decided to observe “Supreme Court Day” on December 18 every year.

The apex court had started its judicial functions on December 18 after the country’s independence as per the Constitution.

But the same meeting decided to defer the first Supreme Court Day celebration to January 2, since the court was earlier scheduled to be shut during its annual vacation on December 18.

Meanwhile, a statement by senior lawyers welcomed the maiden initiative to observe the day.

However, they added that it was being celebrated at a time when the post of Chief Justice, who is the main guardian of the judiciary, was vacant.

They also urged the executive authorities to refrain from taking supremacy over the judiciary so that the latter can play its due role to ensure the rule of law in the country in accordance with the Masder Hossain case, popularly known as the case of the separation of the judiciary from the executive.

They expressed hope that the authorities concerned would respect the apex court by implementing its directives pertaining to the case.

The statement was signed by senior lawyers Dr Kamal, barrister Rafique-ul Huq, barrister M Amir-ul Islam, Mainul Hossain, AFM Hassan Arif and Fida M Kamal.

Citing many landmark verdicts by the apex court, the statement said there was no alternative to ensuring the fundamental rights of the people without establishing an independent and separate structure for the judiciary in accordance with constitutional provisions.

Relating to the government’s recent gazette notification over disciplinary rules for lower court judges, the lawyers said that the protection extended by that decision to the independence of the judiciary was undermined by three cardinal rules as made under Articles 115 and 116 for the subordinate judiciary now framed under Article 133 under the Executive Chapter.

This, therefore, treated the judges of the lower courts as being made subordinate to the executive branch. “It has thus violated the scheme for separation of power further sanctified by the judgement in Masder Hossain Case. Those rules as mandated under the Constitution are now framed in a non-transparent manner and without due deliberations or effective consultations with both Divisions of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh,” the statement said.