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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: 169
May 15, 2010

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Court orders to arrest 12 cops over 'crossfire'
A Natore court issued arrest warrants against 12 policemen and seven others on charge of killing a youth in “crossfire” at Singra in Natore. The policemen include Abu Bakar, the then officer-in-charge of Singra Police Station, SI Liakat Ali and ASI Prodyut Kar. On August 27, 2009, Rajab Ali of Singra upazila filed a complaint with the Natore Additional Chief Magistrate's Court that Singra police picked up his son Ansar Ali from his house and killed him in the name of crossfire. After the hearing, the court instituted a judicial enquiry under Mahmudul Hasan. - The Daily Star, May 13, 2010.

Proceedings of 2 cases stayed by HC
The High Court directed trial courts to turn in within two weeks the records of two defamation cases involving the Bashundhara Group for examination. The court also stayed the proceedings of the cases until disposal of its ruling on Bashundhara Group. The HC directive came after Editor and Publisher of daily Prothom Alo Matiur Rahman in a petition sought transfer of the cases to the HC for disposal, saying the cases involve constitutional matters. - The Daily Star, May 13, 2010.

Sue Mainul for murder
A parliamentary body asked Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha to file a murder case against former adviser to caretaker government Mainul Hosein for "neglect and ignoring safety measures" in demolishing Rangs Bhaban that led to death of 14 workers. The parliamentary standing committee on housing and public works ministry also asked Rajuk to demolish "illegally built" three upper floors of 15-storey Musafir Bhaban in Kakrail owned by Mainul and take legal action against him and his son Arshad Hosein. The committee also asked to take legal action against Saju Hosein, wife of Mainul, for giving "false statement and affidavit" while buying a flat in the city. - The Daily Star, May 12, 2010.

Pre-cleaning report must before import
The High Court in an order ruled that no ship could be imported in Bangladesh without pre-cleaning and environmental certificates from exporting countries. It said the Department of Shipping could issue no objection certificates (NOCs) to those ships only seeing such certificates and compliance of other legal obligations. The ship exporters have to ensure that their ships are not hazardous, a lawyer said. The court ordered the director general of the Department of Shipping to take departmental action against its assistant chemist Fawzia for misinterpreting its March 17, 2009 verdict on the closure of ship-breaking yards. It also asked the director general to inform this court within two months about the action against Fawzia. - The Daily Star, May 12, 2010.

Ensure safe fruits
The High Court gave the government a number of directives to stop the use of chemicals for ripening and preserving fruits and the sale of those contaminated fruits, a public health concern. The court, in response to a public interest writ petition, ordered Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute (BSTI) and Rapid Action Battalion to continuously monitor fruit depots in Dhaka so that contaminated fruits cannot be stored or sold. It asked for everyday tests of fruits to be conducted at wholesale depots in the capital. - The Daily Star, May 11, 2010.

Benin delays their return
Further complexity is hindering the repatriation process of 28 stranded Bangladeshi seamen in Benin, as the country is now asking for some of the crew to stay back to look after the ships. "Benin authorities are now asking for five to six seamen for a few more days to take care of the ships. They said they would make arrangements for the seamen's salaries and other facilities," told a foreign ministry official. "We booked air tickets for 10 sailors and were about to book more for the rest. But by this time things got a bit complicated," he said. - The Daily Star, May 11, 2010.

60 criminal cases against Selim dropped in 4 months
The government has withdrawn 60 criminal cases out of 120 against former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim in last four months terming the charges “politically motivated and meant for harassment.” Selim is an accused of highest number of criminal cases filed against an individual in Bangladesh. His counsel Pran Nath told The Daily Star that following Selim's instruction he had earlier filed appeals for withdrawal of the cases as the government had decided to withdraw such “politically motivated cases.” - The Daily Star, May 10, 2010.

Helal, wife sent to jail
A Dhaka court sent lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin, also a cousin of Sheikh Hasina, and his wife Rupa Chowdhury to jail in a graft case in which the two were tried in absentia, found guilty and sentenced. Helal was also shown arrested in an extortion case. Judge (in charge) Mohammad Mozammel Hossain of the Special Judge Court-6 passed the order after Awami League leader Helal and Rupa appeared before the court and sought bail in the corruption case. On February 24, 2008, Judge Tanjina Ismail sentenced Helal to 13 years' imprisonment for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information to the Anti-Corruption Commission while Rupa was sentenced to three years' imprisonment for abetting her husband in acquiring the wealth. - The Daily Star, May 10, 2010.

EU insists on free anti-graft body again
The European Union reiterated that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Bangladesh should be a financially adequate independent body, which is free from any political influence. Addressing a press conference on the eve of the Europe Day, EU Ambassador Stefan Frowein said, "ACC is an essential element and to make it meaningful it should work independently -- financially and politically. Likewise, the judiciary also needs to function independently." Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. The day is observed commemorating the historical declaration (May 9, 1950) by the then French foreign minister Robert Schuman of creating a new form of organisation of States in Europe. - The Daily Star, May 9, 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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