<%-- Page Title--%> Law Letter <%-- End Page Title--%>
|<%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 118 <%-- End Page Title--%>||
November 30, 2003
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Is it equality before law?
Contempt of court seems to be one of the hottest issue of the country
at this moment. Two very high Govt. officials have been charged with contempt
of court in the last one month- the Inspector General of Police (IGP)
and the District and Sessions judge of Feni. In both the cases, the high
court issued suo moto rule against the accused. According to the newspapers,
the contempt charge against the IGP was brought for making some comment
about the high court and a former additional judge. The Feni District
judge has been charged because he did not met with a judge of the high
court while he was in Feni on a visit. In both the cases, the accused
appeared in the court in person and sought 'unconditional apology'. I
don't know what will ultimately happen with the cases, but this two cases
raised some questions. So far I know, there is no law in our country defining
'contempt of court' So, what are the basis for drawing 'contempt of court'
charges? Often we see contempt charge being issued against newspaper editors
and reporters. Few month ago, editor of four leading daily newspaper of
the country were charged with contempt of court. They were not allowed
to sit in the courtroom during the proceeding . But the IG of police was
allowed to do so. What should we imagine form this ? The Constitution
says that all citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal
protection of law. It is evident from the above two cases? We are citizens
of a democratic country where freedom of expression is guaranteed by Constitution.
We need a comprehensive law on contempt of court immediately.
Waiting for an anti-graft body
Setting up an Independent Anti-Corruption Commission was one of the main
agenda of the election manifesto of the present BNP led four party coalition
government. The present government has already completed 2 years of its
five year term. The government is saying that it is committed to fulfil
all its election pledges. Do they really mean it?
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