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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: 175
June 26, 2010

This week's issue:
Human Rights advocacy
Law campaign
Law News
Reviewing the views
Rights corner
Law Week

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Law week

DAP now official
Despite government gazette notification approving the detailed area plan (DAP) for Dhaka City, certain errant land development projects are likely to remain unscathed due to legal loopholes. The government issued the notification incorporating all recommendations of a six-member expert review committee headed by noted civil engineer Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury, said Md Nurul Huda, chairman of Rajdhani Unnyan Kartripakkha (Rajuk). The recommendations were aimed at protecting flood flow zones in and around the capital. But now government high-ups are saying that they might have to take a softer stance in certain cases as the Town Improvement Act, Wetland Conservation Act, and DAP itself provide chances of appeal for violators, and discretionary authority for government high officials. - The Daily Star, June 24, 2010.

Father denied paternity
Heart-racking information came out during the remand interrogation of the in-laws of Farzana Akter Rita, who with her two children were found dead in their Jurain house on June 11. During the interrogation, Shafiqul Kabir, Farzana's father-in-law, said his son Rashedul denied paternity of Pabon and Payel during an altercation on May 6. Shafiqul admitted that they remained silent when the children in tears were seeking a little support from the people present during the altercation as Rashedul verbally divorced Farzana and asked her to leave the house with the children. Detective police were interrogating Farzana's parents-in-law, her sisters-in-law Sukhon and Kabita and Kabita's husband Delwar Hossain Patwari, who had been placed on three-day remand each. - The Daily Star, June 24, 2010.

Mizanur new chief of HR commission
The government reconstituted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by appointing a new chairman and six members. Dr Mizanur Rahman, a law professor of Dhaka University, has been made new chairman of the commission. President Zillur Rahman also appointed six new members of the commission, as its incumbent Chief Justice Amirul Kabir Chowdhury will go into retirement this week and two members have already retired. The new members of the commission are--former secretary Kazi Reazul Haque, also executive director of Legal Education and Training Institute; advocate Fawzia Karim Feroze, a Supreme Court lawyer; Dr Giasuddin Mollah, a professor of the department of political science of DU; Aroma Dutta, executive director of PRIP Trust; Selina Hossain, executive director of Faria Lara Foundation and also a former director of the department of research, anthology and folk of Bangla Academy; and Niru Kumar Chakma, a professor of DU and also a former member of the NHRC. - The Daily Star, June 23, 2010.

No legal basis for hoisting flags of other countries
There is no legal basis for hoisting flags of other countries in Bangladesh, as seen these days, for supporting the teams in World Cup Football, said Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minster Barrister Shafique Ahmed in the Parliament. Shafique was replying to a written question from Awami League lawmaker Apu Ukil (women seat-2). But the Minister said that the government has no plan to take action against the youths who hoisted flags of their favourite countries as this is a “sensitive” matter. In this regard, he advocated for a move to create awareness through television, radio and newspapers so that the youths refrain from such activities. - The Daily Star, June 23, 2010.

Dhaka readies for long legal battle
Bangladesh is preparing for a lengthy legal battle at an international tribunal to establish its claim over territorial waters in the Bay of Bengal, as talks for an amicable settlement of maritime boundary disputes with India and Myanmar do not seem promising. Bangladesh's documents in the case regarding the dispute with Myanmar have been finalised, and will be filed at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) by July 1. The deadline for filing of counter-documents by Myanmar is December 1. Bangladesh is also scheduled to submit, by May 31, 2011, a memorandum to the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations, claiming its legitimate authority over territorial waters in connection with the dispute with India. India will submit a counter-memorandum by May 31, 2012. - The Daily Star, June 22, 2010.

Anti-hartal bill placed
A bill was recently submitted to the Parliament Secretariat seeking to enact a law that would enable authorities concerned to punish individuals who force people to observe hartals. According to the bill, if anybody is found guilty of forcing people to close markets, shops, offices and prevent people from using or running vehicles on streets, he or she could be sentenced up to seven years' imprisonment. The bill will be placed before the parliament soon. The private member's bill, submitted by Jatiya Party lawmaker Mujib-ul-Haque Chunnu, also proposed to deploy mobile courts on hartal days to hold trials of the offence summarily or the court may hold trials later if cases are filed in this connection. - The Daily Star, June 22, 2010.

It's worst genocide since World War II
The mass killing during the Liberation War of Bangladesh was the worst genocide since World War II, speakers said in a conference yesterday and also urged international community to recognise the "Genocide." The Pakistan Army and its local auxiliary forces killed 3 million people and raped more than 200,000 women in nine months, the conference said in its resolution. The MSSK Trust, Forum for Secular Bangladesh and Trial of War Criminals of 1971 and South Asian People's Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism jointly organised the conference titled "The International Conference on Peace, Justice and Secular Humanism" at Osmani Memorial Auditorium. In the resolution titled "Dhaka Declaration", the conference also called on international community for extending support to the process that Bangladesh government has initiated to try the war criminals. - The Daily Star, June 21, 2010.

Court to hear charges July 12
A Dhaka court fixed July 12 for hearing on charge framing against the managing director, two directors and two pharmacists of Rid Pharmaceuticals in connection with a case filed for manufacturing toxic paracetamol syrup. Judge Mohammad Abdul Majid of the Drug Court set the date after receiving the advertisement published in two national Bangla dailies that asked Director Abdul Gani and pharmacists Mahbubul Islam and Enamul Haque to appear before the court by May 26. But the officials did not comply with it. Police earlier took more than eight months to submit a report before the Drug Court that the three accused were absconding. - The Daily Star, June 21, 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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