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11 August, 2017 07:54:39 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 11 August, 2017 11:56:00 AM
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Irrelevant comments should be expunged: Law minister

The full verdict of the 16th amendment case, has become the talk of the town since its release on August 01, by the Supreme Court. Yesterday, another dimension was added to the issue with government, finally, breaking its silence over the verdict and observations.
Staff Reporter
Irrelevant comments should be expunged: Law minister

Law minister Anisul Huq yesterday claimed that the Supreme Court (SC) verdict declaring Article 116 of the Constitution as unconstitutional was unacceptable, as it was “not given based on logic, but rather on emotion and animosity”. Huq was giving a formal reaction on behalf of the government to the SC verdict that scrapped Parliament’s authority to remove SC judges on grounds of misconduct or incapacity.


Huq said, “We are aggrieved over the SC verdict. We are certainly considering whether to file a petition seeking a review of the verdict. But we are yet to take a final decision on this. We are scrutinising each and every point of the verdict.”He said the government has been inspecting the scope to overturn the Supreme Court verdict, which has restored the provision of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) by scrapping the parliamentary authority to remove SC judges for “misconduct” and “misbehaviour”.

He added that the reason for which the apex court had scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution was not acceptable to the government. “The government will take the initiative to expunge some observations made by the Chief Justice in the verdict which we have found to be objectionable and irrelevant,” he added.

The law minister’s comments came amid a visibly growing fracas between the executive and the Supreme Court over the judgment upholding the High Court’s verdict that declared the 16th constitutional amendment in 2014 illegal and unconstitutional.

Relating to the provision of the SJC, the law minister said this system was “unfair”. It did not work transparently. The procedure of the 16th amendment to remove judges is more transparent that that of the SJC, the minister said.

Referring to Ayub Khan’s constitution of 1962, the law minister pointed out that the SJC system had failed several times, and this concept had come from a military dictator. Hence, this concept could never be adapted into a democracy, the minister noted.

In response to a query, the minister said that calling the sudden meeting of the SJC immediately after the verdict was unfortunate. “I want to clarify that there is no power contest between the judiciary and the government,” Huq said.

The minister said the government would pursue the issue through legal means. “We do not have any intention of tackling this politically,” he added.

“The apex court verdict is not acceptable to us. The Chief Justice, in his verdict, has stated many irrelevant things, bypassing the issue of this case. The Chief Justice has made slanderous comments about the Jatiya Sangsad and belittled the institution. These political issues could not be a judicial matter,” Huq noted.

“The government has strengthened the independence of the judiciary by making the 16th amendment to the constitution. However, the judgment says that we have curbed the freedom of the judiciary with the 16th amendment. We can only feel aggrieved,” the law minister said.

Huq said, “We should remember that the office of the Chief Justice is a constitutional institution... It is our responsibility to protect the dignity of the institution.” Finally, the law minister stated that the “institution is bigger than a person and the country is bigger than an institution”.

Law secretary Abu Saleh Sk Md Zahirul Haque and other senior officials of the ministry were present at the briefing held in the conference room of the Chittagong Hill Tracts affairs ministry in Dhaka.

 

 

 

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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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