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February 15 2004 

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Anti graft body bill finalised

The parliamentary standing committee on the law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry has finalised its report on the anti-corruption commission bill with a number of amendments. The report may be placed in the on-going session of the parliament. The committee has inserted a new section in the bill that says cases filed by the anti-corruption commission shall be tried in the courts of special judges. The Code of Criminal Procedure will be followed in the trials as far as is practicable. According to the amended bill, the commission shall have a prosecution wing to prosecute the cases filed by itself so that it need not depend on the public prosecutors or state attorneys. It also says that till the prosecution wing is established, the commission may appoint any private lawyer on contract to prosecute any of its cases. The commission shall also have a separate investigation wing to probe into corruption by any public functionary. The investigating officers of the commission shall hold the same powers that any officer-in-charge of a police station holds. The committee has also amended the composition of the selection panel that will recommend to the president the names of persons to be appointed as chairman and members of the commission. An Appellate Division judge will head the panel, which will also comprise a High Court judge, the comptroller and auditor general, chairman of the Public Service Commission and the immediate past or present cabinet secretary. -Law Desk.

Six to die for killing SI of police
A speedy trial court has awarded death penalty to six people and life imprisonment to four for killing a Sub-Inspector of police Kanokuzzaman in 2001. The convicts with death penalty are M Maksudur Rahman alias Saikat, 30, Nazrul Islam alias Naju, Rezaul Islam Iqbal alias Rezaul, 28, Azizul Islam alias Aziz, 26, Sukkur Ali alias Rana and Mujibur Rahman alias Rifle Mujib, 32. The accused were also fined Tk 50,000 each. Those awarded life imprisonment are Mamun alias Picchi Mamun alias Abu Naser Mridha, Ripon alias Nurunnabi, Jewel and Masud alias Masud Rana. Each of them were fined Tk 25,000. Sub-Inspector Kanokuzzaman was killed by a gang in Agargaon area on 25 June 2001. A case was filed in this connection with Tejgaon Police Station. Later in August 2003, the case was transferred to the speedy trial tribunal for trial. - Jugantor, 11 February.

Nuruzzaman freed on bail
The High Court Division of the Supreme Court has granted bail to Nuruzzaman, a contractor who brought allegation of bribery against ruling party MP and son of finance minister Naser Alam. He was granted bail after 66 days of his arrest. In October 2003 Nuruzzaman at a press conference alleged that Naser Alam demanded Tk. 2 crore as bribe from him. As he refused to pay the money, his contract work of Tk 20 crore was cancelled. Soon after this press conference as many as eight case were filed against him. He was arrested by Police 18 November. He was taken to Srimangal Police Station and then to the upazila hospital and again to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital as he fell sick in police custody. -Law Desk.

New judges for lower courts soon
The government is going to appoint two hundred and eight judges for the district courts through the judicial service commission. This was said by Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Moudud Ahmed in the parliament. He said the government had issued the Bangladesh Judicial Commission Rules 2004 as part of separating the judiciary from the executive. He said some 2,801 cases, related to disruption of law and order, had been disposed of by 73 speedy trial tribunals under the Speedy Trial Act. Besides nine speedy trial tribunals set up to deal with specific offences, have disposed of 299 cases, in which 50 cases were marked as sensational, till January 25. Ninety-three persons were acquitted and some others got different punishment in these 50 cases. -New Age, 9 February.

Conviction of IGP stayed
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) has stayed the High Court (HC) verdict convicting Inspector General of Police (IGP) for contempt of court. Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice MM Ruhul Amin passed the stay order on a petition by the IGP seeking leave to appeal against the High Court order. The SC will hold its next hearing on the matter on February 14 when a full court will look into it. The High Court on 27 January fined IGP Shahudul Huq Tk 2,000 and ordered that he would have to serve one month in prison should he fail to pay up the fine. Earlier on 11 November 2003, the Court issued suo motu contempt rule on the inspector-general for his written comments and remarks while replying to certain queries in connection with the contempt case against the traffic policemen. -Janakantha, 8 February.

IO of Manik Saha murder case suspended
The home ministry's monitoring cell has ordered to suspend the Investigation Officer (IO) of journalist Manik Saha killing case for his negligence in investigating the case. The 34th meeting of the Monitoring Cell pored over 11 sensational cases and asked the authorities concerned for quick investigation and disposal of the cases that include the killing of journalist Manik Saha, Karnafuli Garden City heist, Banshkhali bloodbath, the killing Chittagong magnate Jakir Hossain, twin murders at Dhaka University and the killing of schoolteacher Jayanti Reza. The meeting asked the IGP to appoint efficient policemen to investigate the killing of Manik Saha after suspension of the current OC.-Daily Star, 8 February.

Introduction of e-policing planned
The government has planned to introduce e-police in the city of Dhaka to increase their professional efficiency. Under the plan, the Home Ministry will connect the 53 police units of the city in a fibre-optic based metropolitan area network and a database will be set up for warrant notices and examining the finger tips using latest electronic device. This project aims at upgrading the country's police administration to the world standard and ensure free access of the citizens to the security apparatus. The project also envisages expansion of the 'Third Eye' software in the special branches of the police department so that it helps the police supervisors to monitor crime and criminal records. Besides, the pilot project further plans to set up an electronic database and an interactive website which will contain daily press releases, supplement, list of top terrorists and criminals, lists of people under police custody and people injured in road or other accidents etc. - Financial Express, 10 February.



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