Govt introduces bill to amend criminal law
The government on 4th July introduced a bill in parliament
seeking amendment to the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1958 to make
it consistent with the Anti-corruption Commission Act.
Law Minister tabled the Criminal Law Amendment (Amendment) Bill 2004,
terming it essential for an independent and effective functioning of
an Anti-corruption Commission. He told the House, with passage of the
bill, the government would neither be able to withdraw a corruption
case nor to appoint public prosecutors to deal with corruption cases.
These powers are vested with the Anti-corruption Commission. The bill
also empowers the Anti-corruption Commission to arrest any government
official on charge of corruption without the government's permission.
- Daily Star, 5th July.
Cabinet approves World Bank legal immunity
The cabinet decided to provide legal
immunity to the World Bank in Bangladesh, approving a bill seeking amendments
to the International Financial Organisation Order 1972. Once the Amendment
Bill is passed and the immunity comes into effect, the World Bank will
be exempted from any legal action in Bangladesh. The bank formally asked
the government for legal immunity about three years back, after being
sued by its discharged staff member Ismet Zerin Khan. The government
subsequently sought legal opinion from the attorney general and the
Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. Two attorneys general
in their opinions, said as a body the World Bank, is not eligible for
immunity under the existing legal provisions. But officers and employees
of the World Bank are eligible for such a privilege, they added. However
the Asian Development Bank in 1973 and also other UN organisations are
enjoying the similar facility. -New Age, 5th July.
Manik Shaha Murder, Court accepts charge sheet
A metropolitan magistrate's court on Monday accepted charge sheet in
journalist Manik Saha murder case. The charge sheet against 12 accused
in the case was submitted on June 20 to the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate
by Officer-in-charge of Khulna Police Station. Four of the accused now
in jail. Khulna police filed two cases, one for murder of the journalist
and the other under Explosives Act, on January 19. Charge sheet in the
case under Explosives Act was submitted on March 19, accusing 13 people.
-Daily Star, 7th July.
Ahsanullah Master Murder CID to submit charge
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) will submit the charge sheet
in the Ahsanullah Master MP murder case on July 10. The four-member
CID team has already prepared a draft of the charge sheet. Sources close
to the team said some 25 people, including 15 of the 18 accused in the
first information report (FIR). The slain lawmaker's brother lodged
the case accusing 17 people of the murder. State Minister for Home Affairs
ordered the investigation officer to complete the probe immediately
and submit the charge sheet in a month. - Daily Star, 7th July.
CJs should have no monopoly on chief adviser's
Former chief justices (CJs) should not have a monopoly on the
post of chief adviser to the caretaker government, eminent jurist Barrister
Amir-Ul Islam expressed on 6th July in the High Court. Barrister Amir
said this while pointing out the drawbacks of the 13th amendment to
the constitution, which the Awami League (AL) conceived of and hammered
at in 1995-96 and the then ruling BNP framed. During the hearing that
began on June 29 on the writ petition challenging the 13th constitutional
amendment making way for national election under caretaker government,
the lawyer for one of the defendants, the AL, subscribed to the amendment
but said it needs to be improved by incorporating changes. He suggested
the changes may be brought through consultation with and consensus among
the political parties to ensure a "check and balance" in the
caretaker government. -Law Desk.
Speakers' Houses in JS Complex Court
stops move to gag media, denies stay prayer
The Appellate Division turned down a plea to ban media reports on constructions
on the Sangsad Bhaban complex minutes after it also did not grant another
prayer for a stay on a High Court order declaring construction of the
residences of speaker and deputy speaker illegal on 7th July.
As soon as the bench declined to pass the order, the attorney general
sought an embargo on media coverage of development work on the Sangsad
Bhaban complex. The High Court on June 21 declared the constructions
illegal following a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon
(Bapa) and the Institute of Architects, Bangladesh (IAB). As soon as
the government gets the certified copy of the June 21 High Court verdict,
it plans to seek permission to file an appeal petition against the order,
according to sources in the Public Works and Housing Ministry. -Daily
Star, 8th July .
US lawmakers move against human trafficking
US lawmakers were considering how to strengthen efforts against
the illegal enslavement of humans for sex and forced labour, which remains
a problem in the United States nearly 140 years after it was outlawed.
Washington has sought to lead the international fight against human
trafficking and has threatened sanctions against nations which tolerate
the trade or fail to take adequate efforts to stop it. US officials
estimate that between 600,000 and 800,000 people are forced into slavery
each year, including between 14,500 and 17,500 in the United States.
Many of these are women and children kidnapped or lured into prostitution
or forced labour. The multibillion-dollar trade ranks among the fastest-growing
transnational crimes. -AFP, Washington, 8th July.
Auditor general lodges appeal with JS body for
Comptroller and Auditor General (Cag) Asif Ali yesterday lodged
an appeal with the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of the Jatiya Sangsad
seeking its protection against violation of the constitutional rights
of his office by the Railway Division. The parliamentary body is now
examining the rules and regulations to dispose of the appeal, the first
of its kind in Bangladesh. Earlier on July 5, the parliamentary body
decided to summon the secretary of the communications ministry, director
general of the Railway Division and officials concerned at its next
meeting slated for July 20. A team of Cag's office recently went to
the railway division to check purchase documents, but the officials
misbehaved with them and denied them access to the papers. -Daily
Star, 8th July.
EC decision on Mannan's poll petition after
A stormy scene was witnessed in the Election Commission secretariat
during the hearing of the petition filed by Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh
candidate Major (rtd) Mannan alleging massive rigging and fraud in the
Dhaka-10 by-election. After hearing both sides, the acting Chief Election
Commissioner (CEC) Safiur Rahman said the decision on the case would
be announced after July 18. He advised Mannan to submit documentary
evidence in favour of his allegations by July 15 and the ruling party
candidate to submit his papers if any by July 18. The counsel for the
four-party candidate denied the allegations claiming that polling was
totally free and fair with no coercion and intimidation from any quarter.
At one stage, the two lawyers exchanged bitter and hot words creating
a noisy scene in the conference room of the EC. -Bangladesh Today,
9th July .
Show cause notice on jail super
The financial loan court-4 of Dhaka on Thursday issued a notice on the
jail superintendent of Munshiganj to show cause as to why the court
would not proceed against him on contempt of court charge for non-compliance
of a court order. Judge of the court directed jail super to appear before
the court to explain within three days of receipt of the notice. The
court passed the order upon his refusal to release a debtor after receiving
a court order. The court sentenced the debtor for civil imprisonment
for six months in a money execution case on May 24 this year. -New
Age, 9th July.