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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: 205
September 3, 2005

This week's issue:
Human Rights Advocacy
Law Vision
Law alter views
Law Opinion
Rights Investigation
Law event
Law Week

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Law week

Tough anti-terror steps must to protect image
Head of EC Delegation Ambassador Esko Kentrschynskyj and British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury in separate meetings with Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan said Bangladesh has to take the terrorism issue seriously to protect its trade, investment and image abroad. "It has to be taken seriously," Kentrschynskyj told reporters after his farewell call on Morshed at the minister's office. He however appreciated the government steps taken so far to deal with the post-August 17 situation. "We're encouraged by the steps taken by the government and we hope trade relations between of the European Union (EU) and Bangladesh will continue the same way as it was in the past," he said. Asked about any negative impact on Bangladesh's image after the blasts, he expressed the hope appropriate measures to arrest and punish the culprits would restore confidence of the EU and others in Bangladesh.
The European Union diplomat also expressed the hope Bangladesh would continue enjoying good trade relations with its largest export market, the EU. UNB, Dhaka, August 29.

4 Rab men jailed for robbing cattle trader
A Dhaka court sentenced four members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and their two sources to five years rigorous imprisonment (RI) for robbing a cattle trader of Tk 7.8 lakh. The convicts are Sergeants Atiqur Rahman and Waliullah, Assistant Sub-inspector (ASI) Rafiqul Islam, constable Khorshed Alam and their two sources Mofizur Rahman alias Babul and Masud Mridha. The convicts were accused of robbing a cattle trader in the Mirpur area of the city on March 23.
All the convicts except Masud Mridha were present during the delivery of the verdict.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Towfiqul Alam of the Speedy Trial Court-4 handed down the sentence. The court also fined Tk 5.000 each, in default they will have to serve 30 more days of RI. The complainant will be returned Tk 2,45,500 recovered from Waliullah and Tk 10,000 from Khorshed after disposal of the appeal, if the convicts file, the court said. Complainant Ratan Ali, who was present in the court, expressed his satisfaction over the verdict. The Daily Star, August 30.

Rules of Mustaque, Sayem, Zia unlawful, declares HC
In a historic verdict, the High Court declared the fifth amendment to the constitution illegal, meaning the rules of Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem, and Maj General Ziaur Rahman from August 15, 1975 to April 9, 1979 were unlawful. The verdict came upon a decades-old writ petition filed challenging the Martial Law Regulation (MLR) 7 of 1977, issued to legalise all illegal acts of the martial law government prior to that time. In a late night development, the state-run news agency BSS said the chamber judge of the Appellate Division Amirul Kabir Chowdhury stayed the judgement until tomorrow following a leave to appeal petition filed by Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali. Sources said the attorney general and other government law officers last night went to the residence of Justice Amirul to file the petition. After a brief hearing, the judge ordered that the matter will be heard by a full bench of the Appellate Division. In the verdict, the HC observed that martial law as a whole is illegal and unconstitutional and all the actions, laws, and rules made under martial law are illegal. The hanges of the governments between August 15, 1975 and before the national elections of 1991 were not carried out constitutionally. The High Court bench of Justice ABM Khairul Haque and Justice ATM Fazle Kabir also said the constitution does not permit anyone to assume power by any means other than the ones mentioned in it [constitution]. If anyone does so, it will amount to sedition. The Daily Star, August 30.

Militant forces, absence of rule of law threat to human rights
Growth of militant forces, absence of rule of law, extra-judicial killings and impunity to criminals are posing a great threat to human rights in the country. Moreover, repression on religious minorities and violation of the constitution in the running of state affairs are damaging the country's image abroad. This was the unanimous view of speakers at different sessions of a two-day convention titled 'Unity against Terrorism' that began in the city. Leader of the Opposition Sheikh Hasina spoke at the inaugural session of the convention.
Presenting the keynote paper at a session on "Terrorism: An environment without justice", Prof Borhanuddin Khan Jahangir said a secular republic is being butchered systematically to create a religion-based state. He said law enforcers are killing people without trial, which is not acceptable in a democratic society. Zealots are preparing themselves to turn the country into a theocratic state with active support from the BNP-led coalition government, he mentioned.
AL presidium member Suranjit Sengupta said those who believe in a theocratic state cannot uphold the sprit of the country's constitution. Criminals are getting indemnity undermining rule of law professed by the constitution, he added. Chaired by justice KM Sobhan, the session was also addressed by economist Dr Atiur Rahman, Prof Harun-ur-Rashid and Dr Rashid-e-Mahbub. The Daily Star, August 31.


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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