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14 August, 2017 12:28:35 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 August, 2017 11:34:23 AM
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History distorted, says law minister

Debate over 16th amendment verdict
UNB
History distorted, says law minister

The observation of the Supreme Court (SC) that "no nation and no country is made of, or by, one person” was a distortion of history, said law minister Anisul Huq yesterday at a programme at the auditorium of the Dhaka Reporters' Unity (DRU) at Segunbagicha in the city.

The SC had made this observation while delivering its judgment to scrap the 16th amendment to the Constitution. “There is no doubt that history has been distorted, as you know that our Independence and the proclamation of Independence were not achieved overnight. It had been achieved through a political movement in 1971. Bangabandhu proclaimed Independence in the wake of the people’s verdict,” he told a reporter.

“There is still no definition of misconduct. In that case, it has to be examined whether the court's observation can be termed misconduct or any other thing had happened during the delivery of the verdict,” he said.

The minister insisted that the observation was irrelevant in this case, alleging that it contradicted history.

The government was thoroughly scrutinising the full text of the verdict, he said. Replying to another question, Huq said the government might file a review petition with the SC and seek expunction of its irrelevant observations relating to the judgment that scrapped the 16th amendment to the Constitution.

He, however, did not specify any date for filing the petition. He said that they were identifying the irrelevant observations in the 799-page judgment on the 16th amendment to the Constitution.

"The SC has given a long verdict. It'll take time to scrutinise it to reach a decision whether a review petition will be placed or not," he told reporters.

Replying to a question on Saturday night's meeting between Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader and Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, the law minister said discussions could always take place to resolve any problem. “I don't know about the subject of their discussion. But problems can be resolved through discussions for the sake of the country and its people,” he added. Asked whether the verdict has automatically restored the provision of the Supreme Judicial Council, the minister expressed his doubt in this regard, saying that two former chief justices—Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury and ABM Khairul Haque—had observed that it could not be revived automatically.

In its full verdict on the 16th constitutional amendment released on Thursday, the apex court said that the provision of Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for the removal of SC judges for misconduct or incapacity had been reinstated in the Constitution.

The court also came up with a 39-point code of conduct for SC judges regarding the exercise of power under Article 96 of the country's charter.

The apex court has drawn criticism for scrapping the 16th amendment to the Constitution from lawmakers and Cabinet members.

The law minister said the country faced no constitutional crisis because of the SC verdict that upheld a High Court judgment scrapping the 16th constitutional amendment.

When his attention was drawn towards the protest programme of the pro-Awami League organisation, the minister said people had a right to protest, but they also needed to show respect to the judiciary.

"We should remain respectful of the posts of Chief Justice, Speaker, Prime Minister and President since these are institutions of the state," he added.

The law minister explained that Section 57 of the ICT Act was not made to harass journalists and that’s why a tougher procedure had been laid down regarding the lodging of any case against journalists under the section.

He assured the scribes that there would not be any law to harass journalists. “The law was not enacted to restrain journalism. Your (journalists') concern to clarify Sections 19 and 20 in the proposed Digital Security Act would be considered before its enactment,” he said.

DRU president Shakhawat Hossain Badsha presided over the function, while its general secretary Mursalin Nomani conducted it. Law secretary Abu Saleh Sk Md Zahirul Haque was present on the occasion.

 

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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.

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