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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: 79
August 1 , 2008

This week's issue:
Law Opinion
Law Campaign
Star Law Booook Review
Law Amusements
Crime Punishment
Law Lexicon
Law Week

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Law week

Toll collected illegally from CNG drivers
The leaseholder of the Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge-1 (Buriganga bridge) has allegedly been collecting over Tk 1 lakh in tolls illegally a day from CNG-run auto-rickshaws although the lease agreement does not give it that right.
During a visit to the bridge by The Daily Star correspondent it was learnt that employees of the leaseholder, Alim Miah and Sons owned by Abdus Salam Bepari, collect Tk 10 per auto-rickshaw.
The contractor got the lease for one year in April for Tk 4.92 crore.
Section-7 of the leasing agreement clearly mentions that the lessee must collect tolls against money receipts. "It is forbidden to collect tolls without providing money receipts," the agreement reads. -The Daily Star, July 27, 2008

19 sitting judges oppose HC rule
Nineteen judges of the High Court (HC) filed an application with the Supreme Court (SC) against the HC judgment that directed the government to reappoint with seniority 10 additional judges not confirmed during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government's rule.
Endorsing the application, Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice MA Matin permitted the petitioners to file a regular petition for leave to appeal and fixed tomorrow for its hearing before the full bench of the Appellate Division.
Petitioners' counsel advocate TH Khan told reporters that reappointment of the then 10 additional judges with seniority would affect the seniority of 46 sitting HC judges. -The Daily Star, July 28, 2008

HC rules against Aug 15 politics by BNP-led govt
The High Court (HC) declared illegal immediate past BNP-led 4-party alliance government's order for cancelling observance of national mourning day and a public holiday on August 15.
On August 15, 1975, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated along with most of his family members in a military coup led by a group of disgruntled army officers.
Upon a writ petition filed by three leaders of Awami League's front organisations, an HC bench comprising Justice Mohammad Abdur Rashid and Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam delivered the judgment which also cancelled the same BNP-led government's another order that had prohibited flying of the national flag at half-mast for paying respect to the memory of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation.
The court observed that the alliance government's decisions were in violation of state decisions. The HC bench also said the grounds on which the alliance government cancelled observance of National Mourning Day and a public holiday on August 15 were also not factually correct. -The Daily Star, July 28, 2008

Three mayor aspirants under EC watch
The Election Commission (EC) will look into the allegations of violating the electoral rules by three mayoral candidates in Rajshahi, Khulna and Barisal.
Sources in the EC Secretariat said the decision follows complaints lodged against the three--Khairuzzaman Liton in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC), Moniruzzaman Moni in Khulna City Corporation (KCC) and Ebadul Haque Chan in Barisal City Corporation (BCC).
MM Hafizur Rahman, a mayoral candidate in KCC polls, has filed the complaint against acting mayor Moni for flouting the code of conduct in electioneering. Masudul Haque Vulu, a mayoral hopeful in RCC polls, has filed the complaint against Liton. Earlier, Liton apologised to the EC after being cautioned against using party office in election campaigns. -The Daily Star, July 28, 2008

Bhuiyan, Shamsul, Engr Mosharraf, Pintu get bail
The High Court (HC) granted bail to 10 persons including three former ministers and four former lawmakers who had been arrested in the anti-corruption drive of the military backed caretaker government.
The ten, who had been accused in separate corruption cases filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) and the government, were granted ad-interim and anticipatory bail.
After hearing separate petitions, an HC bench comprising Justice Sharif Uddin Chaklader and Justice Md Emdadul Haque Azad stayed the proceedings of the cases against the accused.
The court also issued separate rules upon the government to explain why the petitioners should not be granted regular bail and why the proceedings against them should not be quashed. -The Daily Star, July 29, 2008

Tk 186 crore gobbled up from 2 toll centres
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) approved filing of two cases against 36 staff of the Roads & Highways Department (RHD) for embezzling Tk 185.91 crore meant for the state coffers.
An ACC probe carried out as part of the measures against institutional corruption found that the RHD employers and officials had skimmed the sums after collecting those as tolls for Tongi-Ashulia highway and Meghna and Meghna-Gomati bridge through fake money receipts or without any receipt.
Of the amount embezzled, Tk 174.35 crore was collected at Meghna and Meghna-Gomati toll point in between 2002 and 2006 while Tk 11.56 crore at Tongi-Ashulia in between 2005 and 2006.
The ACC probe also gathered that staff of the private firm in charge of computerised toll operation and maintenance of Meghna and Meghna-Gomati bridge used to delete toll data from computers and sometimes keep the systems shut to help the RHD staff in the misappropriation.
The cases will be filed under sections 409, 109, and 34 of penal code and 5 (2) of the corruption prevention act 1947. -The Daily Star, July 29, 2008

Bangladeshi workers held in Kuwait
Kuwaiti Police arrested some Bangladeshi workers after they went on a rampage while protesting low wages, poor working conditions and other exploitations over the last couple of days.
According to the Arab Times, about 2,000 Bangladeshi workers, employed by Al-Jawhara Company for Stevedoring and Cleaning in Hassawi in Kuwait, destroyed six vehicles and injured five camp officials on Sunday.
The protesting workers also attacked the company office in Jleeb Al-Shyoukh on Saturday evening.
Police finally brought the situation under control, clubbing the demonstrating workers, reported AFP. -The Daily Star, July 29, 2008

EC for adequate mobile courts
The Election Commission (EC) has asked the establishment ministry to take steps for deployment of adequate number of mobile courts comprised of executive magistrates for summary trial of electoral offences in the August 4 polls in four city corporations and nine municipalities.
In a letter to the establishment ministry to this effect, the EC apprehended that electoral offences like campaigning for votes within a radius of 400 yards of polling stations, annoying voters and attempting to cast fake votes or snatching ballot boxes might take place on polling day.
Around 100 mobile courts each with an executive magistrate might be constituted to try electoral offences, an EC official said.
According to electoral rules, executive magistrates engaged in election duties may also try individuals or political leaders opposing local government elections for persuading voters not to cast votes in the elections. -- The Daily Star, July 29, 2008

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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