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August 1, 2004 

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Proshika chief freed on bail

Proshika chief Qazi Faruque Ahmed was released on bail, 66 days after he was arrested in fund embezzlement and cheating case. A team of the National Security Intelligence (NSI) arrested Faruque from the Supreme Court (SC) on May 22. The government filed 20 cases including one for sedition against him and he was refused bail several times in the cases. Daily Star,27th July.

Law for HR body formation
A project on human rights, which has spent Tk 8,32,50,000 in the first phase and began the second phase in March, is scheduled to be completed in December, while the government is yet to enact a law for the formation of a national human rights commission. Law Minister informed newsmen of the progress in the implementation of the project ."The bill of the proposed law is now under consideration of the cabinet," he said, replying to a journalist. New Age,27th July.

13th Amendment
The High Court yesterday began delivering judgement on the writ petition challenging the 13th constitutional amendment that provides for national election under a caretaker government. The larger bench of Justice Jainul Abedin, Justice Awlad Ali and Justice Mirza Hossain Haider yesterday delivered for about four hours and is likely to complete the judgement today. Daily Star, 28th July.

WB legal immunity
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will decide on legal immunity to World Bank operations in Bangladesh. A full bench of the division, presided over by Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain, on July 25 granted a petition filed by Ismet Zerin Khan, a discharged official of the bank. Now Ismet will have to file a regular appeal, which will be heard by the Appellate Division. She filed the petition seeking leave to appeal against a High Court verdict that had directed the trial court to decide on the maintainability of her case in consideration of the bank's plea for legal immunity. In early 2003 the bank filed an application for immunity with the second senior assistant judge's court in Dhaka, which was also hearing the case Ismet had filed challenging her dismissal. In May 2003 the court rejected the bank's plea and observed that the case was not barred as the bank enjoyed no immunity under the existing laws. The court's ruling prompted the bank to submit a revision petition to the High Court. A High Court single bench of Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain ruled on the petition on August 12 and directed the trial court 'to decide whether or not the suit filed by the plaintiff in respect of the relief sought for in the suit is maintainable before recording the evidence'. New Age, 28th July.

10 addl judges appointed
The government confirmed the appointment of 10 additional judges as judges of the High Court (HC) while another additional judge got six months extension. Daily Star,29th July.

Withdrawal of presiding officers
The Election Commission asked the returning officer for the Gazipur-2 by-election to withdraw 14 presiding officers for suspected political affiliation. In a circular, the commission also directed local election authorities to review the list of presiding officers so as to detect and drop any other officers with political links. "We have asked the authorities to withdraw 14 officials who allegedly have political affiliations," acting chief election commissioner Safiur Rahman told. He ruled out any possibility to defer the by-election in view of the ongoing flood. After receiving directives from the commission, the Gazipur district administration has started relieving the officials, who were selected as presiding or polling officers to conduct the by-election. New Age,30th July.

Depoliticise police
Speakers at a discussion yesterday said police often harass general people in violation of code of conduct.They also called for depoliticising the police force to make them efficient and play a greater role in maintaining law and order. Odhikar, a human rights organisation, arranged the discussion on 'Human Rights and police custody: A perspective of Dhaka Metropolitan Police' at the Cirdap auditorium. Law Minister Moudud Ahmed said police are now performing better although they have earned a bad reputation. In the key note paper, they said the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) now use sections 86 and 100 of the DMP ordinance more frequently following the High Court directive regarding section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). During the period September 2003 to May 2004 a total number of Out of 69,715 people arrested by DMP from September 2003 to May 2004, over 45,000 were held under sections 86 and 100 and over 4,000 were arrested under section 54 of the CrPC. Daily Star, 30th July.


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