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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: 186
April 16, 2005

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Law week

Chaos in court over Faizee's taking bench
Additional Judge Faisal Mahmud Faizee's joining the High Court bench witnessed a chaotic scene at his courtroom as two groups of lawyers shouted at each other making opposing statements on whether he should continue performing judicial tasks. The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), meanwhilm, decided to continue its boycott of Faizee's court that had started five months ago. The decision was taken after an inconclusive meeting with the chief justice yesterday. The pro-boycott lawyers chanted slogans at the courtroom in Faizee's presence while the pro-government lawyers said they would like to see Faizee to continue his judicial tasks. After a 160-day break, Faizee joined court Sunday following the High Court's verdict in a contempt case against two newspapers for running stories on the allegel tampering with the judge's LLB certificate. The court punished the two newspapers. SCBA president Abdul Baset Majumder came to the spot and delivered a speech in presence of Faizee. He said, "We met the chief justice yesterday and he will sit again with all the former SCBA presidents this afternoon." Majumder urged Faizee to refrain from sitting at the court for the time being for the sake of peaceful environment. Faizee however expressed his desire to undertake judicial tasks. -The Daily Star, April 2.

BTTB Cellphone Writ petition filed against licence transfer
A writ petition was filed challenging the legality of the transfer of cellular phone operating licence of Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) to another company 'Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd' and the allocation of radio frequency in favour of the company leading to its commercial launch. Mesbahuddin Ahmed, an associate professor of the Department of History at Dhaka University, and Nasimul Ghani, an employee of the BTTB and Ozganising Secretary of Telejogajog Sramik Karmachari Union, filed the writ petition with the High Court Division of the Supreme Court. The petitioners sought a rule upon the respondents to show cause as to why the transfer of the licence and allocation of the frequency should not be declared illegal. They also urged thm court to stay operations of Teletalk and using the frequency allocated by the BTRC. The respondents are Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), its chairman, BTTB and its chairman, secretary of the Minis|ry of Post and Telecommunications and Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. -Daily Prothom Alo, April12.

Govt to enact anti-dumping law
The government is going to enact an anti-dumping law in order to protect the interests of local indu{tries, Chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) Khairuzzaman Chowdhury told a pre-budget discussion. "The government will enact an anti-dumping law," he said asking the leaders of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) to give a list of items that are being dumped. DCCI leaders at the pre-budget meeting also alleged imported goods are flooding the Bangladesh market, posing threat to local industries. The chamber leaders also stressed the need for bringing pari|y in facilities enjoyed by entrmpreneurs in the export processing zones and outside the zones. Speaking at the meeting at the chamber auditorium in Dhaka, DCCI President Sayeeful Islam demanded continuation of tax holiday in the next budget. -The Daily Star, April 11.

Act tough to recover grabbed lands
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia said the government has identified illegal land grabbing as a national problem and ordermd the administration to take effective measures to recover public and private lands from grabbers, and go for stern action against them.

"We have already formed committees at national and district levels to recover illegally grabbed lands of the government, autonomous bodies, private institutions and people as well as to take proper steps against the illegal occupants," she said. Inaugurating a three-day annual conference of deputy commissioners (DCs) at the Cabinet Division, the prime minister asked the DCs to take tougher action against the land grabbers.

"You must tackle with a heavy hand any obstructions to government activities and attacks on institutions or officials. You have to discharge all your responsibilities with neutrality ignoring all sorts of pressure and intimidation," Khaleda said. - The Daily Star, April 10.

Ex-HC judge files petition against chief justice
A unconfirmed additional judge of the High Court (HC) filed a writ petition challenging the legality of Chief Justice Syed JR Mudassir Husain's holding office 'violating the Constitution'. The HC Division Bench of Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and J}stice Moinul Islam Chowdhury briefly heard the petition filed by Abdus Salam Mamun, the judge.

The bench adjourned for a week the petition's admissibility. The petitioner accused the chief justice (CJ) of victimising and depriving the petitioner of becoming a confirmed judge 'despite understanding oiven to him'. Mamun and 10 others were appointed additional judge{ to the High Co}rt in July 2002 for a two-year term. After the end of their terms, all the additional judges, barring petitioner Mamun, were confirmed as High Court judges. Hoever, Mamun's tenure as an additional judge was extended by ano|her six months, but he was not confirmed even a| the end of the extended period. Mamun in his petition alleged 'inaction' of the chief justice in confirming him as a judge. It is 'tantamount' to violation of Article 95 of the Constitution, he said and claimed that the chief justice has no authority to continue in his office. -UNB, April 10.

Corresponding with the Law Desk
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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