Home | Back Issues | Contact Us | News Home
“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: 255
September 23, 2006

This week's issue:
Star Law Analysis
Financial Marekt Regulation
Law Opinion
Human Rights Advocacy
Law Capmpaign
Law Week

Back Issues

Law Home

News Home


Law Week

Bail eludes most mass arrest victims
Hopes of the relatives of mass arrest victims to get them released were shattered as court granted bail only to a small number of them. The mass arrests were made prior to the grand rally of the opposition, which is being followed by its blockade programme. Sources said the Metropolitan Magistrate's (CMM) Court, Dhaka, granted bail to only few numbers of people. Besides, relatives alleged that many of the mass arrest victims were not released from jail although they were granted bail because they were shown arrested in other cases. "We are lucky to get bail order for my nephew," said Masudur Rahman. But he had to spend Tk 10,000 to get the bail order, he alleged. Masud said Ramna police arrested his nephew Nazmul Hossain from Segunbagicha and implicated him in a case for police assault at Bangla Motor. Nazmul, employee of a garment factory at Paltan, was in office at the time of the incident mentioned in the FIR (first information report) by police. He said he showed police a copy of the office records showing his nephew's presence but police ignored it. A couple of days before the grand rally of the Awami League-led 14-party opposition combine, police arrested around 1,400 people in the capital alone. This time most of them were implicated in cases filed earlier, increasing the sufferings of the victims and their relatives. -- The Daily Star, September 20

Ershad gets fourth acquittal in a month
Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad was acquitted of graft charges in yet another case filed against him during the previous BNP government in connection with allotment of plots of land violating government laws. The acquittal is also the fourth for him in a month. In its verdict, the First Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court that began the trial in 1998 observed that the former president has been harassed with the case for the last 14 years. "It has been proven that the case was filed on political grounds to harass the former president," Judge SM Mojibur Rahman said in the verdict referring to a petition filed by Ershad in 1999 claiming that the government filed the case on political grounds. Cheerful Ershad, who was acquitted of graft charges in cases one after another following the ruling BNP's move to have the deposed dictator on its side in the upcoming parliamentary election in exchange for gradually withdrawing pending cases against him, said he is getting justice. "Ershad did not allot any plot to any of his relatives. Those who were allotted plots were not accused in the case," the court observed. While the court was delivering the verdict Ershad was sitting in a sofa in the courtroom without taking permission from the court, instead of being in the dock. --The Daily Star, September 18.

Oriental Bank
Top brass fined for violating SEC rules
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fined 13 former directors, a former managing director and a company secretary of the Oriental Bank Ltd for breaching securities rules. The directors and the managing director were fined Tk 500,000 each while the incumbent company secretary Tk 100,000, sources said. The payments will have to be made to the stock market regulator by bank draft or pay order within the next 15 days. The former directors were disciplined for not furnishing the commission with uninterrupted audio-visual records of the 18th annual general meeting (AGM) held on October 16, 2005. The bank had submitted edited minutes of the AGM that was found to have lasted only for five or six minutes. The board of directors did not also place and discuss the agenda properly, said Mansur Alam, executive director of the SEC. "For the first time the SEC has taken disciplinary action against a bank for not providing a complete audio-visual record of an AGM. And it was done so that the listed companies follow the securities laws properly," observed Mansur. In August, the Bangladesh Bank had assigned its Executive Director Md Asaduzzaman Khan to take over the roles of the managing director and the board of directors of the Oriental Bank.--Prothom Alo, September 18.

ACC lacks transparency
Terming the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) a non-transparent institution, one of its commissioners Maniruzzaman Miah asked for an all-party parliamentary body to probe and find out its problems. "There is complete lack of transparency in the commission," said the commissioner at a roundtable. Citing non-cooperation among the ACC commissioners as the main cause for its ineffectiveness, the commissioner said, "I don't understand how this commission would work." The government established the commission in a hurry 'to satisfy the donors', as well as to meet the party's election pledge, but also took all the measures to keep it under control and make it ineffective, said the speakers at the roundtable on 'The ACC: How it can be made effective'. Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) and Reporters Against Corruption (RAC) jointly organised the roundtable at the Jatiya Press Club in the capital, where TIB's Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman read the keynote paper. Iftekharuzzaman in his paper identified lack of political commitment, visionary leadership, accountability mechanism and focus and priority, and government's control of its operational independence and non-cooperation of its commissioners as the reasons for its ineffectiveness. To make the commission effective and credible, he recommended a degree of overall independence of the commission, its control over its financial resources, authority in key operational and management decisions, leadership capacity of the commissioners, creating public trust in the commission, and making it accountable.--The Daily Star, September 18..

Election 2007
EU team seeks security for its observers
The visiting European Union (EU) mission sought security for its election observers who are likely to visit different polling centres across the country during the next parliamentary election.
Led by Andrew Bruce, the EU delegation met Home Secretary Safar Raj Hossain at the ministry in the morning and inquired whether there is any threat on holding the election, particularly from the militants. The home ministry, however, told them that there is no such threat adding that the government has successfully fought off militancy. "We've assured them that they will receive necessary security if the government allows them to observe the polls," Safar Raj told reporters after the meeting. Upon arrival, the EU observers should contact the home ministry and deputy commissioners concerned and collect pass and stickers while going to the polling centres, he added. The home secretary said, "We've told them that many foreign election observers, journalists and rights activists came earlier to observe the elections and got necessary security.....Although there were movements, the parliamentary elections have been held smoothly since 1991." Safar Raj also briefed the EU team about the security on the election day saying that police and ansar will be deployed at each polling centre to maintain law and order, while the Armed Police Battalion and Bangladesh Rifles men will act as striking force as per requirement of the EC.--The Daily Star, September 19.

Judgement copy of death terms to 7 JMB men signed
Judges of the High Court (HC) death reference bench, which upheld the death sentences to seven militant leaders of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the Jhalakathi judges murder case on August 31, signed the copy of the judgement. The verdict can be executed if the convicts do not appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) within 30 days from now, said legal experts. Senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed were killed in a suicide bomb attack at Purba Chadkati in Jhalakathi town on November 14 last year in the wake of a series of violent militant attacks across the country. Additional District and Session's Judge of Jhalakathi Reza Tarik Ahmed, on May 29, ordered seven JMB men including its chief Abdur Rahman and his top aide Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai to be hanged until death and acquitted one in the sensational Jhalakathi judges killing case. The other convicts are JMB's Majlish-e-Shura members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal and Faruk Hossain Khan [also known as Khaled Saifullah], suicide bomber Iftekhar Hasan Al Mamun and Asadul Islam Arif, who is absconding. --The Daily Star, September 19.

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


© All Rights Reserved