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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: 192
October 30, 2010

This week's issue:
Law campaign
Court corridor
Good news
Human rights advocacy
Law letter
Human rights monitor
Rights corner
Law lexicon
Law Week

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Law week

Tougher law soon
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the government would enact tougher law to prevent stalking, a malady that causes unpleasant incidents in the society. “None will be spared, we will enact tougher law to stop this menace,” she told the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Central Command Council-District and Upazila Command at the Army Stadium in the city. Referring to the tragic death of Mizanur Rahman by stalkers in Natore, Hasina said one of the culprits was arrested and the government is very serious to deal with this matter. College teacher Mizanur succumbed to his injuries at BSMMU Hospital in Dhaka. Mizanur Rahman, a chemistry teacher of Lokmanpur College in Bagatipara upazila of the district, had been in coma for eight days. Mizanur protested stalking of college girls. -The Daily Star, October 28, 2010.

Free lower judiciary
Keep the Supreme Court (SC) as the only authority to appoint, transfer and promote the judges of lower courts as per article 116 of 1972 constitution, SC Bar Association (SCBA) President Khandaker Mahbub Hossain asked the government. If the article is restored, the lower court will come under the control of only the SC, and lower court judges can function independently, the SCBA president said, adding the article was changed through fourth amendment of the constitution in 1975. He made the comments at a briefing to reporters at his SCBA office. Khandker Mahbub said now the president appoints, transfers and promotes the judges in consultation with the SC, but also as per the prime minister's advice on political consideration. Although the judiciary has been separated from the executive, the administration has kept the rope around the neck of the lower court judges, he commented. - The Daily Star, October 28, 2010.

Press Council serves notices on 2 dailies
Bangladesh Press Council has asked the editors and publishers of the Kaler Kantha and Bangladesh Protidin to appear before its Judicial Committee on November 14 at 11:00 am in connection with two cases filed against them. Editor and publisher of the Prothom Alo Matiur Rahman filed the cases on October 21 for publishing false and defamatory news linking him with the August 21 grenade attacks in 2004. The council served notices on the editors and publishers of the two dailies on October 24 also asking them not to publish any such report till disposal of the cases. They have been asked to submit to the Judicial Committee their reply to the charges made in the cases. - The Daily Star, October 27, 2010.

Recognise indigenous people in constitution
Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) placed a proposal before the parliamentary committee to amend the constitution for providing constitutional recognition to the indigenous people. A six-member delegation of PCJSS led by its vice president Ushatan Talukder submitted the written proposal to the chairperson of the committee Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, also the deputy leader of the House. Mongal Kumar Chakma, information and publicity secretary of PCJSS, told The Daily Star that the chairperson expressed positive attitude towards the constitutional recognition to the indigenous people. “We are now hopeful after meeting her,” Mongal, also a member of the delegation, said. Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury is also the convener of Chittagong Hill Tracts Peace Accord Implementation Committee. - The Daily Star, October 27, 2010.

Free all children from prisons
The High Court in a verdict directed the authorities concerned to immediately release all the children from jails across the country. An HC bench of Justice Md Imman Ali and Justice Obaidul Hasan declared keeping children in jail in any manner illegal. Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Sazu told The Daily Star that more than 100 children under 18 years are in jails in the name of safe custody. The HC bench came up with the order after hearing on a suo moto rule earlier issued by the court upon the government to explain why it should not be directed to release the children from jail. The HC issued the suo moto rule following a newspaper report stating that 145 children are in jails. -The Daily Star, October 26, 2010.

Pilots' retirement age raise valid
The Supreme Court stayed a High Court directive that suspended the decision of Biman Bangladesh Airlines to increase the retirement age of its pilots to 62 from 57 years. A three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, issued the order following a Biman petition against the HC directive. Additional Attorney General MK Rahman said according to the SC order, Biman's decision to increase the retirement age of pilots would remain valid until the writ petition is disposed of in the HC. The Biman board on September 9 this year issued an administrative order enhancing the retirement age of the pilots to 62 from 57 years. Bangladesh Pilots' Association (BAPA) has been pressing for extending the retirement age of pilots to 65 years. -The Daily Star, October 26, 2010.

Justice denied to cheated workers
The Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), the only place for cheated migrant workers to seek redress, is continuously failing to deliver the goods to the victims whose lives are devastated in shoddy immigration process. Taking advantage of weak rules and their loose enforcement by the bureau, a number of manpower recruiting agencies found responsible for cheating and harassing Bangladeshi workers abroad have been refusing to compensate the victims for nearly two years, ignoring repeated government orders. At times the agencies pay the deceived workers a lump sum, which is much less than the amount settled by the BMET. The Daily Star has documents of at least 34 victims denied justice, rather harassed and humiliated. -The Daily Star, October 25, 2010.

EU had 'no role' in 1/11
European Union (EU) Head of Delegation Ambassador Stefan Frowein said the present parliament is not functioning according to the aspirations of the people. The ambassador made the remarks to reporters after a farewell call on Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed at his ministry. Asked about the EU's role in staging the 1/11 political episode, Frowein said the EU had no role in it nor did they interfere in it. However, he admitted that they offered some suggestions due to the friendly relations between EU and Bangladesh. Frowein praised the role of the press in flourishing democracy in Bangladesh. The ambassador termed the trial of 1971 war criminals as an internal affair of Bangladesh, but hastened to add that the trial should maintain international standards ensuring the self-defence of the accused. “We're observing it,” he sad. -The Daily Star, October 25, 2010.

Corresponding with the Law Desk
Dear reader,
You may send us your daily life legal problems inclu- ding family, financial, land or any other issues. Legal experts will answer those. 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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