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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 259
October 21, 2006

This week's issue:
Star Law History
Law Alter Views
Fact File
Human Rights Monitor
Law Letter
Rights Corner
Law Campaign
Law Week

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Law Week

Lawmaker, 17 BNP men sued for hijacking vehicle
A case has been lodged with the Gournadi Upazila Magistrate Court in Barisal against BNP lawmaker Jahiruddin Swapan and his 17 associates from Gournadi and Agoiljhara. Belayet Hossain Bablu, staff reporter of The Daily Jugantor's Barisal bureau, lodged the case. According to the allegation statement, a number of BNP loyalist goons hijacked a microbus carrying the Bangla daily newspaper Jugantor from Dhaka-Barisal highway early morning on October 12. They drove away with the vehicle after beating up the diver and helper. Later, they burnt hundreds of copies of the newspaper. The incident occurred after the newspaper ran a report the previous day, October 11, on BNP lawmaker Jahiruddin Swapan. The case was lodged before the magistrate court as Gournadi Police Station refused to register the case earlier that day. October 17. Magistrate Abdullah Al Mamun received the case and ordered the officer-in-charge of Gournadi Police Station to investigate into the case immediately and take necessary actions. -The Daily Star, October 17.

Yunus not willing to be caretaker chief
Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus explicitly said he is not willing to become the chief adviser to the caretaker government, putting a brewing rumour of last few months to rest. "The caretaker chief should be neutral. I am not a neutral person since I am involved with the campaign for clean and competent candidates in the national elections," he said. If need be, he will form a political party to strengthen the campaign, the microcredit guru told reporters at Zia International Airport before flying to South Korea, where he will receive Seoul Peace Prize 2006. There has been a suggestion that the campaign for clean and competent candidates will not be successful without being a part of a political process. "Is it a tough job to form a party?" he posed a question. But he admitted he did not even think of joining politics before. The campaign for clean and competent candidates is the outcome of a long process and it should be moved forward, he asserted. The election will be meaningless unless honest candidates are elected, he said, adding that there is a need for the country to have an alternative politics. However, he hopes the dialogue between Awami League and BNP will be successful. "The crisis is not that grave as it seems." -The Daily Star, October 18.

Attack on Shooters
Judicial enquiry starts on Oct 22
The judicial enquiry of the attempted murder case against five police personnel filed by the National Shooting Federation for attacking three shooters, including the Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Asif Hossain Khan on October 2, will begin on October 22. Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Shafiq Anwar set the date and issued summons upon the complainant and others to appear before the court on the fixed date. Metropolitan Magistrate Syed Mohammad Mojibul Haq ordered the judicial probe into the matter after Range Officer AFM Sahab Uddin Ahmed filed the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka on October 8. The accused are: Deputy Commissioner (DC) of police Obaidur Rahman Khan, Officer-in-charge (OC) of Gulshan Police Station Mahbub Alam Khan, sub-inspectors Jasim Uddin and Faisal Zaman and driver to the deputy inspector general (DIG) of Special Branch Havildar Abdul Khaleq. In his complaint, Sahab Uddin mentioned that Zumman Ali, one of the security guards of National Shooting Federation, asked the chauffeur of DIG Dr Sadiqur Rahman to park the four-wheel-drive vehicle to another place when the driver was attempting to park it in front of the federation complex. But the chauffeur Havildar Abdul Khaleq became angry with the guard and was locked in an argument with him, which soon turned into a scuffle. Other guards and employees of the complex came out and joined the confrontation while the chauffeur asked the on-duty patrol police of the area for help. A three-member police patrol team led by Sub-inspector Jasim rushed to the spot with North Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police Obaidur Rahman Khan, Assistant Commissioner Zannatul Hasan and OC of Gulshan Police Station Mahbub Alam Khan. As per direction of the DC and the OC, the policemen entered the complex and started beating up whomever they found before them. Around 30 shooters, who were practising inside, came out hearing the commotion and fell victim to the indiscriminate beating. -The Daily Star, October 18.

Hasan 'thinks' controversy irrational
Would-be chief adviser to the next caretaker government Justice KM Hasan thinks the ongoing controversy over him is "irrational" and "unexpected", his well-wishers said. "An unreasonable debate has been going on centring me," Justice Naimuddin Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday quoting Justice Hasan as saying while talking to him over telephone. Justice Hasan also questioned the fairness of the ongoing debate, sources close to his well-wishers said. Justice KM Hasan has been the first natural choice for the post of the caretaker government chief following a 2004 amendment to the constitution that extended the retirement age of Supreme Court judges. The Awami League (AL)-led 14-party opposition combine has been opposing Justice Hasan as the chief of the interim government on grounds of his affiliation with BNP in the past. But the BNP-led ruling alliance has been rigid to have Hasan in the post. The rigidity of the country's two main political parties has triggered enormous political standoff ahead of the next parliamentary elections. Justice Naimudidn at a discussion disclosed that he recently had a conversation with KM Hasan. Justice Naimuddin said he told Hasan that he now has two options--to live the rest of his life with the honour of a former chief justice, or to be a victim of the dishonest and corrupt politics. -The Daily Star, October 19.

HC stays trial of daily Runner editor's murder case
The High Court stayed the proceedings of a murder case of the editor of daily Runner pending with the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge, Jessore. Runner editor Saiful Alam Mukul was killed in a bomb blast on August 30, 1998. Staying the trial court proceedings upon a revision petition filed by one of the accused in the case Farazi Azmal Hossain, senior correspondent of the daily Ittefaq, a division bench headed by Justice MA Rashid issued rule upon the government to explain why Farazi should not be exempted from the charge brought against him by the trial court. It also asked the government to explain as to why the case should not be quashed. Barister M Amir-Ul Islam assisted by Barrister Moniruzzaman Asad appeared for Farazi, who is now on bail. -Unb, Dhaka, October 19.

Corresponding with the Law Desk
Please send your mails, queries, and opinions to: Law Desk, The Daily Star 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215; telephone 8124944,8124955,fax 8125155;email <dslawdesk@yahoo.co.uk,lawdesk@thedailystar.net


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