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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: 152
January 16, 2010

This week's issue:
Law interview
Judgment review
Law news
Your Advocate
Human Rights monitor
Law Week

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Law week

Paper importers taxed heavily on false allegations
Bangladesh Customs has been requiring importers to pay extra tax on paper purchased from India after receiving a letter from Bangladesh Paper Mills Association (BPMA), which made false allegations that paper importers were faking invoice documents. The Customs started imposing the additional tax even though an international pre-shipment inspecting company had reported twice that there was no basis to the allegation. Importers have now significantly reduced purchasing cheap paper from India. This, combined with the local manufacturers' decision to sell their paper at a higher price, appears to be behind the 20 percent increase in the cost of paper for ordinary consumers. - The Daily Star, January 14, 2010.

SC to hear review pleas on Jan 24
The Supreme Court (SC) fixed January 24 for hearing the petitions filed by detained convicts in Bangabandhu murder case seeking review of its judgment confirming their death sentence. Three of the five condemned prisoners -- Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Sultan Shariar Rashid Khan-- have already filed review petitions with the apex court. Huda and AKM Mohiuddin filed the petitions on January 10 and Shariar Rashid on January 12 through their counsels. The other two -- Syed Farooq Rahman and Mohiuddin Ahmed-- will file review petitions next week, their counsel Abu Hanif said when contacted. -The Daily Star, January 14, 2010.

Proshika staff barred from entering office
At least 300 staff of Proshika, a non-government organisation (NGO), could not enter their headquarters in Mirpur, as its former chairman with his hired men allegedly took control of the building. As tension brewed over the alleged hostage taking of several employees inside the building by former chairman Qazi Faruque Ahmed's hired men, police cordoned off the Proshika office. Upon a revision petition filed by Faruque, the High Court in its order said that he could go to Proshika Bhaban alone meaning that he is not allowed to gather people in front of the office or go there with procession. - The Daily Star, January 13, 2010.

Bill seeks to stop journalist harassment
A bill was placed in parliament for dropping the provision from the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989 that allows courts to issue arrest warrants against editors, publishers, reporters or writers in defamation cases. Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed placed the bill, according to which, courts will issue summons instead of arrest warrants in such cases. "It will help put an end to harassment of journalists, editors, writers and publishers," the law minister said in justification of bringing the amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1989. -The Daily Star, January 12, 2010.

Bangabandhu's killers deserve no mercy
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said the three condemned convicts in Bangabandhu assassination case, who sought presidential mercy, should not get any reprieve, but it is the president's prerogative. "The convicts killed the then president of the country also the father of the nation, along with most of his family. The killing was one of the most heinous offences in history, and that is why the killers do not deserve mercy," he said. The law minister was speaking to reporters in his Bangladesh Secretariat office. The government will execute the death sentences after all legal avenues for the condemned are exhausted, he added. -The Daily Star, January 12, 2010.

Three convicts seek presidential mercy
Three of the five death-row convicts in Bangabandhu murder case sought presidential mercy through the jail authorities. Lt Col (artillery) Mohiuddin Ahmed, Major Bazlul Huda and Major (lancer) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed submitted their petitions to the jail authorities, Inspector General (prisons) Brig Gen Ashraful Islam Khan told a press briefing at his office. The rest two--Lt Col Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan and Lt Col Syed Farooqur Rahman--will file review petitions through lawyers. The jail authorities will today forward the mercy petitions to the home ministry, added the prisons chief. - The Daily Star, January 10, 2010.

Huda, Mohiuddin, seek SC review
Two of the five detained killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman filed review petitions with the Supreme Court against the judgment confirming their death sentences. Lawyers for convicts Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed filed the petitions to the section concerned of the apex court. The rest three death-row inmates in the Bangabandhu murder case are Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan and Mohiuddin Ahmed. -The Daily Star, January 11, 2010.

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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