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9 December, 2016 00:00 00 AM
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SC pulls up AG over discipline rules for trial court judges

STAFF REPORTER
SC pulls up AG over discipline rules for trial court judges

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday reprimanded attorney general (AG) Mahbubey Alam for the government’s failure in issuing a gazette notification relating to discipline and appeal rules for trial court judges. The top court also summoned two secretaries of the law ministry, asking them to appear before it on December 12 for not complying with its order about finalising the rules determining the discipline of lower court judges.
An eight-member full bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice (CJ) Surendra Kumar Sinha, came up with the order after hearing the Masdar Hossain case, known as the judiciary separation case. “We’re not passing a written order. We’re giving a verbal order that you’ll ensure the presence of the two secretaries before the court on December 12 with a copy of disciplinary rules issued by a gazette notification, if possible,” the Chief Justice told the AG.
When the AG sought two weeks’ time, the CJ rejected his prayer saying that the court had already allowed time—four weeks, two weeks and one week—on three occasions in response to his prayer. The law minister himself took time earlier. Yet, the guidelines were yet to be formulated, which is not acceptable, the CJ noted.
“We can’t take action against the judges as the discipline and appeal rules are lacking for the trial court judges,” the CJ said. Pointing an accusing finger at the AG, the CJ said, “We’ve asked you to meet the Prime Minister regarding the matter, but you haven’t met her.” The AG, however, told the court that he had met the Prime Minister.
However, the SC asked the AG to ensure the presence of the secretaries—ASSM Zahirul Haque and Md Shahidul Haque—before the court on the morning of December 12 for giving their explanation.
Earlier, the apex court had ordered the law ministry several times to finalise the rules determining the discipline of the lower court judges, as per its directives. But the ministry had sought time from the SC for complying with the order. On November 7, the SC asked the government to issue a gazette notification relating to the discipline and appeal rules for the trial court judges within November 24. It also asked the government to submit the copy of the gazette notification to the apex court.
Later, it granted the government a week’s time and, finally, on December 1, the Appellate Division set a seven-day time limit for the ministry to finalise the rules and asked it to submit the gazette notification on the rules before the court on December 8.
In December 1999, the SC—in a landmark verdict in the Masdar Hossain case—issued a 12-point set of directives to the government, which included framing of discipline and appeal rules and code of conduct for the trial court judges.
The government had, on May 7 this year, submitted a draft discipline and appeal rules and code of conduct of the trial court judges to the top court. The SC amended the draft prepared by the law ministry and asked it to issue a gazette notification by November 6 after incorporating the apex court amendments into the draft code of conduct. Earlier, during the hearing, the CJ said the court wanted to frame the trial court judges’ code of conduct so that it can take action against the judges who are involved in corruption. “Some trial court judges are involved in corruption and misconduct. We can’t take action against them due to the lack of discipline and appeal rules for trial court judges,” the CJ noted.

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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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