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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: 167
May 1, 2010

This week's issue:
Governance update
Law vision
Law letter
Human Rights Monitor
Good News
Law Week

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Law week

Male nurses too partners in crime
Several male nurses (medical assistants) of Bangladesh Rifles took up arms and helped others in killing and dumping the bodies during the bloody mutiny at the headquarters on February 25-26 last year. A case was filed with the BDR Special Court-6 against 256 members of the BDR hospital unit in the force's HQ in Pilkhana. Medical assistant of this unit nayek subedar Md Nannu Mia filed the case with the three-member court headed by BDR Director General M Mainul Islam. The other members of the court are Lt Col Md Nurul Alam and Maj Md Ali Mustain Khan. Taking the case into cognisance, the court ordered the prosecution to produce the 256 accused before it. - The Daily Star, April 29, 2010.

Remain above political bias
Chief Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim urged young lawyers to discharge their professional duties remaining above any political bias, for upholding the constitution and establishing the rule of law. He said the lawyers could protect the people's rights by placing appropriate legal interpretation before the court. The chief justice made the remarks while addressing as chief guest the certificate awarding ceremony of young lawyers who were permitted to practice in the High Court Division by Bangladesh Bar Council on February 8. The ceremony was organised by the council at Dhaka Officers' Club. - The Daily Star, April 29, 2010.

WB worried at amendment to ACC law
The World Bank has expressed its concern at the government's initiative to amend the Anti-Corruption Commission Act. WB Managing Director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala expressed the concern at a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in Washington. Muhith at a press briefing at the Finance Division said, "They raised their concern about it. I've told them the amendment is now under our consideration. After having these examined by the law ministry, a final decision will be taken in this regard." The finance minister added the government is considering the amendments to the Act on the basis of a recommendation of a taskforce. - The Daily Star, April 28, 2010.

Liberia detains 41 workers
The 41 Bangladeshi workers recently detained in Liberia for their irregular status are expected to be brought back home soon by UN peacekeeping mission flights. A brigade commander of Bangladeshi peacekeepers in Liberia told Dhaka that he is hopeful to get the UN Headquarters' permission for transporting the workers in phases, said Saida Muna Tasneem, director general of the external publicity wing of the foreign ministry. In another development, Bangladesh's Chargé d'Affaires in Morocco Lutfar Rahman is going to Benin to help repatriation of the 31 Bangladeshi seamen stranded on eight ships offshore the West African country. - The Daily Star, April 28, 2010.

No to Lafarge mining in Meghalaya to stay
The Indian Supreme Court refused to lift a stay on mining by cement giant Lafarge in the forests of Meghalaya. A special forest bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said: "Till the time, appropriate reports (on damage to environment) are submitted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, we are not inclined to permit the mining." The apex court on February 5 stopped Lafarge from conducting limestone mining in Meghalaya for its cement plant in Bangladesh, saying mining in the environment sensitive zone cannot be allowed. The bench stayed mining activities on the basis of a report from the Ministry of Environment and Forest, which said the company was extracting minerals in the forest zone. - The Daily Star, April 27, 2010.

Govt asked to form teams to end illegal power use
The High Court (HC) directed the government to form a vigilance team in each city corporation to snap all unauthorised power connections to shops, markets and commercial organisations to stop illegal use and misuse of electricity. It asked the government to form the team with members of law enforcement agencies, and to submit to it reports on their actions within 30 days. The HC also ordered a probe into the reported allegation against the deputy commissioner of Rangpur about his playing lawn tennis by using floodlights. The court asked the establishment secretary to place a report before it in this regard within 15 days, and directed the DC concerned not to play lawn tennis by misusing power for three months. An HC bench comprised of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Md Delwar Hossain issued the directives following a writ petition filed by a rights body -- Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh. - The Daily Star, April 27, 2010.

Probe reports on 'identified' war criminals likely by May
Investigators are likely to provide prosecutors with reports on allegations against some identified war criminals by next month to start the long-awaited trial. They have already collected relevant information on some perpetrators of crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War, 1971. Chief investigator Abdul Matin told this to the government at an inter-ministerial meeting at the law ministry's conference room. A three-member tribunal has been formed, and a seven-member investigation agency and 12-member prosecution team appointed on March 25 in efforts to try the war criminals. - The Daily Star, April 26, 2010.

Defamation case against CEC dismissed
A Dhaka court dismissed the defamation case hours after it was filed against Chief Election Commissioner Dr ATM Shamsul Huda for hurting the sentiment of Muslims. Metropolitan Magistrate AKM Emdadul Haque dismissed the case saying that the complainant did not take proper approval from the home ministry before filing the case. Earlier, Mohammad Hossain Akand, an activist of Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon filed the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka. The plaintiff, in his case statement alleged that Huda in an interview with BBC on April 16 said, "Army men are no angels and if Allah himself comes down, He cannot do anything about the Bhola by-election." - The Daily Star, April 26, 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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