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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: 206
February 19, 2011

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Law Week

HC asks for list of river
polluters, encroachers

The High Court yesterday directed the authorities to prepare a list of polluters and encroachers of river Mayur in Khulna, and to place it to this court within four months. Deputy Commissioner of Khulna and director of department of environment of the district have to submit the list of polluters and encroachers of the river to the HC. After hearing a writ petition, an HC bench also issued a rule upon the government authorities to explain within four weeks why it should not be directed to take punitive action against the polluters and encroachers of river Mayur. The bench of Justice Mohammad Momtazuddin Ahmed and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore came up with the rule and order in response to a writ petition filed by Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association. The organisation filed the petition as public interest litigation on February 13 seeking necessary directives on the authorities to save the river Mayur from pollution and encroachment. -The daily star 16 February 2011.

No to domestic help under-12
Declaring all forms of violence, torture and repression on domestic helps illegal, the High Court yesterday ordered the government to ensure that no child aged below 12 is employed as domestic worker. In its judgement on a writ petition, the HC also directed the government to incorporate a provision in the labour law, recognising domestic helps aged between 12 and 18 years as child workers. The existing labour law does not recognise domestic helps as workers. The HC judgement contained a set of other directives to the government that include taking immediate steps to ensure security and a congenial working environment for all domestic helps, education of those aged 12 to 18 in the light of the policy for compulsory education, court sources said.An HC bench comprised of Justice M Imman Ali and Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif came up with the judgement after hearing the writ petition filed by Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association as public interest litigation. . -The daily star 16 February 2011.

SC appoints 10 experts as amici curiae
The Supreme Court yesterday appointed 10 senior lawyers as amici curiae (friends of court) for their expert opinion on a long pending appeal against a High Court verdict that in 2001 declared fatwa (religious edict) illegal. They are TH Khan, Rafique-ul Huq, Mahmudul Islam, M Zahir, Rokanuddin Mahmud, AF Hasan Ariff, MI Farooqui, ABM Nurul Islam, Rabia Bhuiyan and Tania Amir.A three-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque adjourned the hearing of the appeal for two weeks.The HC on January 1, 2001 declared the punishments imposed in the name of fatwa illegal. The verdict came following a hearing on a suo moto rule issued earlier by the court after a newspaper report of Hilla marriage (marriage with a third person).Mufti Mohammad Toyeeb and Abul Kalam Azad the same year filed the appeal with the SC against the HC verdict.Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Ain O Salish Kendra, two human rights organisations, became a party to the case and argued before the HC against fatwa. -The daily star 15 February 2011.

HC declares Gour Gopal's post illegal
The High Court yesterday declared illegal Justice Gour Gopal Saha's holding the post of Administrative Appellate Tribunal chairman. An HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain came up with the verdict following a writ petition that challenged the legality of Gour Gopal Saha's occupying the post.Tapash Kumar Pal, a lawyer, filed the petition stating that the defendant was simultaneously holding offices of president of Ramakrishna Moth and Ramakrishna Mission, and vice-chairman of Bangladesh Hindu Kalyan Trust.The terms of his appointment to the Administrative Appellate Tribunal forbid him to engage in any other organisations, the petition states.The HC on December 7 last year issued a rule upon the government and Gour Gopal to explain under what authority he was holding the post. After the hearing on the rule, the HC bench yesterday delivered the verdict. -The daily star 15 February 2011.

HC scraps proceedings
The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed the proceedings against Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury in the barge-mounted power plant corruption case. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station on September 2, 2007 accusing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and five others on charge of committing corruption in setting up the power plant in Khulna.An HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain passed the verdict following a writ petition filed by Tawfiq challenging the proceedings of the case against him. -The daily star 14 February 2011.




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