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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: 114
April 11, 2009

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MPs' advisory role to create chaos
A good number of upazila parishads might have difficulty functioning properly as they will have more than one lawmaker as advisers as per the upazila bill passed. “Due to the latest delimitation of parliamentary constituencies, more than 100 upazilas are made up of areas falling in two constituencies and so they might get two lawmakers as advisers,” Tofael Ahmed, a former member of the local government commission, told The Daily Star. Activities of the parishads might be hindered if the advisers were at odds over any issue regarding local development, he pointed out. -The Daily Star, April 08, 2009

Faisal puts blame on his local aides
British national and founder of Green Crescent Madrasa-cum-orphanage in Bhola Faisal Mostafa pinned the blame of recovered arms, ammunition and explosives on the madrasa's caretaker and his local associates as his 10-day remand started. Local investigators started quizzing Faisal and his close associate Mohammad Saifuddin Badal after a judicial magistrate's court placed them on remand. They are being interrogated in connection with the seizure of huge firearms, ammo and explosives from the madrasa in Borhanuddin upazila on March 24. -The Daily Star, April 08, 2009

CrPC bill passed empowering admin magistrates
The Jatiya Sangsad passed a bill relating to continuation of separation of the judiciary, allowing the government discretion to empower executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences. Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed proposed passage of the bill titled, 'Code of Criminal Procedure (amendment) Act, 2009'. The bill gives legal coverage to judicial activities after expiry of the twin ordinances promulgated during the caretaker government's tenure to separate the judiciary from the executive. For delegating cognisance power to an executive magistrate, the government will have to specify why and for how long it wants that official to exercise the authority. -The Daily Star, April 08, 2009

Process of war crime trial kicks off Apr 8
The process of trying war criminals is expected to begin on April 8 with the appointment of an investigation officer and a public prosecutor. Meanwhile, Bangladesh has accepted a UN offer of sending a team of war crime experts to help Bangladesh try those who were involved in various war crimes during the Liberation War of 1971. Law ministry officials said the group of UN specialists, having experience in dealing with war crimes that had occurred in different nations, might visit Dhaka shortly. UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Renata Lok Dessallien put forward the offer at a meeting with Law Minister Shafique Ahmed at his ministry. Home Minister Sahara Khatun was also present at the meeting. -The Daily Star, April 06, 2009

2 bidi factories evade Tk 36 lakh tax a month
The owners of Jainal and Amena bidi factories are allegedly evading at least Tk 36 lakh taxes a month showing fake production statements in the last five years, according to a preliminary investigation. A senior official of the Customs, Excise and VAT Bogra Division said Alhaj Jainal and his wife Amena Khatun are paying on average Tk 8 lakh per month in the last five years. They should have paid estimated government revenue of Tk 44 lakh a month in supplementary tax and VAT, the official added. -The Daily Star, April 06, 2009

Scrap UZ law or face movement
A group of upazila parishad chairmen threatened to go for movement if the government does not cancel the proposed Upazila Parishad Act, 2009 that allows lawmakers to meddle in the affairs of upazila parishads. The upazila chairmen hinted this at a press briefing at Jatiya Press Club. They said the upazila parishad must be an independent body and free from interference by the lawmakers for strengthening the local government bodies. Terming the proposed act 'illegal and unconstitutional', speakers also said if the government passes the proposed act, it would be suicidal for it. -The Daily Star, April 06, 2009

Investigators dig into the past of mutineers
Investigators of the BDR carnage are now digging into the past of the mutineers as several questions including the motive behind the BDR carnage still remain unanswered. Although several perpetrators of the BDR Headquarters carnage have already been identified, the investigators made the move to unearth important clues to infiltration of terror elements in the force. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the military investigators who are trying to get the detailed life-sketches of the perpetrators believe any piece of information could lead to a significant breakthrough. -The Daily Star, April 05, 2009

MPs to have major role in governing bodies
Political influence on non-government educational institutions is expected to soar again as the government prepares to enact a law regarding their management that will allow lawmakers and politicians to have a major role in the running of schools and colleges. Earlier, an ordinance promulgated by the caretaker government to prevent political influence in the running of educational institutions lapsed as it was not ratified by the present government. Sources in the education ministry say that proposals being considered for the fresh law provide for strengthening of local lawmakers' and political leaders' dominance over managing committees of non-government institutions. -The Daily Star, April 05, 2009

80pc women, children repression cases false
State Minister for Law Md. Quamrul Islam said 80 percent cases relating to women and children repression are false and fabricated. "In most cases, poor and helpless people become victims," he said at a seminar titled 'Legal Assistance for Poor and Hapless People' held at local Town Hall. The state minister said there are many good laws in the country but those are being misused by vested quarters. He said influential people are behind the filing of such false cases against the poor and distressed people. "Legal assistance will be ensued by removing the trend of harassment implicating poor and dejected people." -The Daily Star, April 05, 2009

Don't record cases to harass people
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Haque asked officers-in-charge (OCs) of all police stations in the capital not to record false cases so that innocent people are harrased. Terming student unrest at different educational institutions in the capital a political issue he said, “Political parties and authorities concerned should resolve those problems.” Students are doing politics and the parties will settle the disputes prevailing in the student wings since police are not assigned to interfere in political issues, he said. -The Daily Star, April 05, 2009

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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