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June 27, 2004 

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HC rules on women's reserved seats in JS
The High Court yesterday in a rule on the government asked why the provision of reserved seats for women in parliament, made in the 14th amendment to the constitution, should not be declared unconstitutional.
The court order followed a writ petition the women's rights groups filed on Sunday challenging the constitutional amendment introduced to pave the way for 45 reserved seats in the Jatiya Sangsad for women. Parliament passed the provision on May 16. -Daily Star, 22nd June.

Law to facilitate easier int'l trade on cards
The government has formalised a new law to make international trade easier which is expected to be placed in the next parliamentary session The law will facilitate export-import trade using state-of-the-art technologies, he said inaugurating a two-day workshop on 'International Trade Tools and Incoterms 2000' organised by International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICC-B) in Dhaka. -Daily Star, 22nd June

Cabinet nods to bank law changes
The cabinet yesterday approved amendments to the Bank Company Act 1991 to tighten the central bank's noose on loan defaulters, make every one from bank directors to bank union activists more accountable and check unruly activities. The act has been amended in nine areas, some of which are very significant and some are just revision of word arrangements.Loan defaulters have been redefined. Previously, a borrower failing to repay loan six months into the expiry of deadline became a defaulter. Under the new definition, a borrower becomes a defaulter as soon as the loan is marked as classified under the Bangladesh Bank rules. -Daily Star, 22nd June.

HC stays remand for Quazi Faruque in sedition case
The High Court on Monday stayed within hours the CMM court order allowing police to take Proshika president Quazi Faruque Ahmed to five-day remand for interrogation in a sedition case filed on Sunday.
A High Court Division bench of Justice MA Matin and Justice Tariq-Ul-Hakim also directed the government to transfer Faruque to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital from Dhaka central jail hospital for better treatment till he remains in custody.
Hearing a writ petition filed by Quazi Faruque, the court also issued a rule nisi on the government to explain why the manner in which the Proshika chief was being held in custody would not be declared to be without lawful authority. -New Age, 22nd June

'Pressure' on judge to free criminals
A district and sessions judge in an unusual writ petition in the High Court yesterday accused the government of putting heavy pressure on him to set free some notorious criminals before the Dhaka-10 by-election slated for July 1st. The petitioner, Sheikh Jahangir Hossain, the recently transferred judge of the Speedy Trial Tribunal (STT) Court, Dhaka-2, said he was also threatened with dire consequences and had to bear with unlawful interference in discharging his judicial duties. Nine criminal cases against some notorious killers including Kala Jahangir, Sweden Aslam, Kamal Pasha and Haris Ahmed are pending with his court.

He alleged that the two government PPs (public prosecutor) pressured him to set free some criminals on bail before the by-election. They also asked him not to try the case and send it back to the Court of Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Dhaka. The two PPs, Abdullah Mahmud Hasan and Mainuddin, went to his court chamber after the judge refused to entertain their request and told him that if he wanted to continue as a judge in Dhaka, he would have to co-operate and give due weight to their requests.

The HC division bench of Justice Mohammad Joynul Abedin and Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader heard the counsel of the petitioner. - Daily Star, 23rd June

US staff visit Bangla Bhai area on fact finding mission
Three US embassy officials yesterday visited Bagmara upazila in Rajshahi under tightened security to gather information about the atrocities of anti-outlaw outfit Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), but police escorted them to the families affected by outlaw violence.

Police in the name of security did not let the team from Dhaka talk to ordinary people freely and refused to give details on the visit to the northwestern upazila.

The Islamist outfit Bangla Bhai is blamed for a series of killings in vigilante action in the northwest. Instead of showing scenes of vigilante violence by JMJB operatives, police took the embassy officials to the houses of Union Parishad chairman and Bagmara BNP President, who were killed allegedly by the outlaws.

Paul Ague, political analyst, and David Modley, regional security official, along with a Bangladeshi press officer from the American embassy visited Bagmara. Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Mozammel Haque of Rajshahi Sadar circle escorted the team to Rajshahi from Dhaka and the additional superintendent of police received them at Rajshahi Airport. -Daily Star, 23rd June

Tinni murder accused held
An absconding accused in the much-talked-about TV model Tinni murder case was arrested from Gulshan in the city on Friday.

On a special drive, a team of the detective branch of police arrested Tapan Gazi Friday night, a DMP press release said Saturday night.

The police produced him before a CMM's court in Dhaka with a prayer for a five-day police remand. After hearing both the sides, the court fixed June 22, the next date for hearing of the case. He was sent to jail.

The 29-year-old youth was also the main accused in the Mithu murder case that took place at a place under the Tejgaon police station on October 1994, the police said. -New Age, 24th June

Ignored complaints led judge to go to court
District and Sessions Judge Shaikh Jahangir Husain, who filed a writ petition Tuesday against alleged government pressure to free some criminals before the Dhaka-10 by-election, had earlier made a series of complaints of threat and obstruction to work. He also sought the Supreme Court protection and help from the government, say his letters to the Supreme Court registrar, law secretary and law ministry solicitor. Tuesday's petition to the High Court, which was unheard-of in recent years, came after he did not get a response from them, his lawyers said. -Daily Star, 24th June.

JS debate soon on law & order, judiciary
Treasury and opposition members in the Jatiya Sangsad Thursday agreed to soon hold extensive debates on urgent public issues like the law and order, independence of judiciary and foreign policy. The two sides reached a consensus to this effect in 24th June's session after a brief debate that was kicked off by opposition lawmakers on points of order.
It also followed repeated demands made in the house in past few days by opposition parliamentarians to allow elaborate debates on such pressing issues. On Thursday, main opposition Awami League lawmaker Mohammad Nasim took the floor at the beginning of day's proceedings and raised a number of issues, including the writ petition filed by a judge seeking protection from the superior court in discharging his duties without any interference or pressure. -New Age,25th June

AL candidate wins Pirojpur municipal election
Habibur Rahman Malek of the Awami League was unofficially declared elected chairman of the Pirojpur municipality in the polls held on Thursday.

Malek bagged 16,496 votes while his nearest rival Shahidul Alam of the ruling 4-pary alliance secured 7,145 votes. Polling was peaceful except unknown criminals hurled three crackers at Suhrawardy College centre at around 2:00pm. But none was hurt. Election was earlier suspended thrice because of dispute and stay by the court. -New Age,25th June.

Injunction on Scholastica till July 1
The injunction on the collection of increased tuition and fees of Scholastica International School will continue till July 1.Senior Assistant Judge of Dhaka, AKM Shahidul Islam passed the order after hearing the case filed against increasing the yearly charges on Thursday. The court fixed July 1 for the next hearing. -New Age, 25th June.


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