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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: 310
March 02, 2013

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Law week

Counsels for Alim fined for absence
The International Crimes Tribunal-2 on February 27 fined the defence of BNP leader Abdul Alim for their repeated failure to appear before the court and repeatedly seeking adjournment without "valid grounds". The three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan fined the defence Tk 2,000 after two conducting counsels, who used to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, remained absent on three consecutive dates. The court asked the defence to deposit the fine money through treasury receipt "under the respective head from his own pocket by March 4" and submit a compliance report. February 27 was fixed for recording cross-examination of Dilip Kumar Chakrabarty, 11th prosecution witness in the case against Alim. The prosecution, the witness, the accused and other defence counsels were present at the courtroom. Earlier on June 11, 2012, the tribunal framed 17 charges of crimes against humanity against Alim including genocide and murder of Bangalee civilians and burying people alive. As many as 11 prosecution witnesses have so far testified since August 6, 2012.-The Daily Star February 28 2013.

3 to die for killing ATN videographer
A Dhaka court on February 26 sentenced three muggers to death for killing Shafiqul Islam alias Mithu, senior videographer of ATN Bangla, in 2010. The convicts are Md Sujan, Md Ratan and Md Raju. Mithu, 40, was found dead at Mirpur-Uttara embankment in Rustampur, on the outskirts of the capital, on May 9, 2010. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court handed down the verdict in a crowded courtroom in presence of the convicts. The convicts can appeal challenging the legality of the sentence within seven days from the day the judgement copy is received. Earlier, the prosecution and the defence completed their arguments and the court recorded statements of 20 out of 36 prosecution witnesses including complainant of the case. According to the prosecution, Mithu, a resident of Madhyapara, fell victim to muggers while returning home by a rented microbus from his office at Karwan Bazar on May 8, 2010. The muggers boarded the vehicle in guise of passengers. -The Daily Star February 27 2013.

Trial of 46 opposition men resumes
A Dhaka court on February 25 resumed the trial of 46 opposition leaders, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, after a six-month hiatus for their alleged involvement in an arson attack. In response to a writ petition, the High Court on August 6 last year stayed proceedings of the case filed with Tejgaon Police Station in connection with torching of a bus near Prime Minister's Office during hartal hours of April 29 of that year. Mirza Fakhrul filed the petition, challenging the legality of the trial court's jurisdiction to try the case against them. Later, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court vacated the HC stay order and directed the trial court to resume the case's proceedings. In line with a summons, Fakhrul and 34 other accused appeared before the court on February 25. Metropolitan Magistrate Harun-or-Rashid passed an order on the complainant of the case to appear in the court on March 28 to give an account of the arson. - The Daily Star February 26 2013.

HC judge to face investigation
President Zillur Rahman on February 25 ordered formation of a Supreme Judicial Council to investigate alleged misconduct of High Court judge Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan. The law ministry sent the presidential order to the Supreme Court registrar for forwarding it to the chief justice. Allegations of misconduct were raised against Justice Mizanur after he distributed copies of a February 17 newspaper report among the judges of the High Court and the Supreme Court. The report, published by the daily Inqilab, terms slain Shahbagh activist Ahmed Rajib Haidar a murtad (non-believer), citing alleged blog posts by him. Rajib was hacked to death near his Palash Nagar residence in the capital's Pallabi on February 15. The Supreme Judicial Council comprising the chief justice and two other senior most judges of the SC investigates allegations of misconduct of any judge and makes necessary recommendations to the president. Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha and Justice MA Wahhab Miah are now the senior most judges, next to the CJ. This will be the second such council to probe allegations against an HC judge. -The Daily Star February 26 2013.

Kamaruzzaman's War Crimes Trial
ICT-2 closes prosecution witness' cross-examination
The war crimes case against Muhammad Kamaruzzaman reached a new stage on February 24 when the International Crimes Tribunal-2 closed the cross-examination of the last prosecution witness for repeated failures of Kamaruzzaman's counsels to appear before the court. The three-member tribunal led by Justice Obaidul Hassan took the stern stance as a senior defence counsel, who used to cross-examine the prosecution witnesses, remained absent for three days, during the cross-examination of this witness. The tribunal, the second of two set up to deal with war crimes committed during the Liberation War, also asked the defence counsels to start adducing their witness from February 25. After recording the testimonies of the defence witnesses, the tribunal will hear the closing arguments of both the defence and prosecution before delivering the verdict, as per the related law. - The Daily Star February 26 2013.


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