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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: 243
November 05, 2011

This week's issue:
Law Opinion
Rights Corner
Human Rights Advocacy
Human Rights Report
Crime & Punishment
Your Advocate
Law Week

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Law Week

HC asks for ensuring safety
The High Court on October 27 issued four directives on the government to ensure safety of ship breaking workers against the backdrop of recent accidents that killed eight workers. In response to a writ petition, the court asked the environment and forest ministry to submit a report on whether a high-powered technical sub-committee is operating as per the court's directives, the terms and conditions mentioned in the environmental clearance certificate are being met and the condition of the country's ship-breaking yards is safe for workers. The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Jahangir Hossain came up with the directives following the petition filed by Bangladesh Environment Lawyers Association (Bela). The bench however did not mention any time limit for complying with its directives.-The Daily Star October 28 2011.

Charge framing against Babar deferred
A Dhaka court on October 27 deferred for the 16th time the hearing on charge framing against detained former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in a tax evasion case. Judge Mohammad Rezaul Islam of the Fifth Special Judge's Court extended the hearing date till November 27 following a defence petition. Babar's lawyer ABM Sharfuddin Khan Mukul told the court that they appealed for the adjournment since a petition challenging the legality of the tax-dodge case was pending with the High Court (HC). Later in a rule, the HC ordered the government to provide its explanation. The prosecution, however, argued that there was no stay order on the case proceeding.- The Daily Star October 28 2011.

HC ordered to snap illegal electricity lines
The High Court on October 27 ordered the government to take immediate steps to snap all unauthorised electricity connections across the country to prevent its misuse. Delivering the verdict on a writ petition, the court directed the authorities concerned to take effective steps to ensure that power is not used excessively in shops and markets, offices and industries. The HC bench of Justice Nyeema Haider and Justice Farid Ahmed asked the power secretary to submit a report to the court within a reasonable time after complying with the directives. The verdict came after holding a hearing on the petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) seeking necessary orders for preventing misuse of electricity in the country. - The Daily Star October 28 2011.

HC asks to take action against pornography
The High Courton October 27 asked the government to explain in four weeks why the spread of pornography should not be stopped. The court came up with the rule following a writ petition filed by Bangladesh National Women Lawyers' Association (BNWLA) Executive Director Salma Ali. The petition said the information technology is being abused to spread pornography materials and it should be stopped for the protection of privacy. Eleven government high officials have been made respondent to the rule. -The Daily Star October 28 2011.

HC stays BTRC notice to GP
The High Court on October 26 stayed the effectiveness of a regulatory notice asking Grameenphone (GP) to pay additional Tk 236.8 crore for the radio frequency in 1800 megahertz band, which the operator already purchased for 18 years in 2008. In response to a writ petition filed by GP, the court issued a rule upon Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to explain why the notice should not be declared illegal. BTRC on October 17 issued the notice asking GP to pay 3624.03 crore as its licence renewal and spectrum assignment fees within 10 days, said Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury, a counsel of GP. On a separate issue, the BTRC had also asked GP not to deduct 15% VAT on its receivables. In this regard, the court directed BTRC, the telecom ministry and other authorities concerned to follow statutory regulatory order (SRO) issued by the National Board of Revenue on June 30, 2010, which gives orders to deduct VAT at source.- The Daily Star October 27 2011.

Acquittal of 14 convicts stayed in
Alam Murder case

The Supreme Court's chamber judge on October 25 stayed for six weeks a High Court verdict that acquitted 14 convicted accused, including eight condemned to death, in the killing of business tycoon Mohammad Alam. The HC on October 24 in a verdict acquitted 14 convicted accused in the case and commuted death penalty of three others to life imprisonment. Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, the chamber judge of Appellate Division of SC, passed the order following a petition moved by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on behalf of the government seeking stay on the HC verdict. Alam and his three female domestic help were killed at his New Jurain residence in the city's Shyampur area on the night of January 2, 2002.- The Daily Star October 26 2011.


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