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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: 128
July 25 , 2009

This week's issue:
Reviewing the views
HUMAN Rights monitor
Law campaign
Law book review
Rights corner
Law Ammusement
Law lexicon
Law Week

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Law week

Govt moves to rev up tardy administration
The government has planned to cut a number of meetings at the Bangladesh Secretariat and declare closed to visitors for two days instead of present one day to speed up administrative functioning, highly placed sources said. The government is considering the options, as no sign of dynamism in the administration is to be found even after six months in power, sources at the secretariat said. -The Daily Star, July 23, 2009.

Court orders probe into looting
The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court has ordered enquiry into the case filed in connection with the looting at firms owned by former caretaker government adviser Geeteara Safiya Choudhury and her husband former lawmaker Nazim Kamran Choudhury. Abu Rushd Tarek, director of the companies who filed the case, told The Daily Star that the court asked the officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station to submit the enquiry report by August 8. -The Daily Star, July 23, 2009.

Passport cheats caught
Detective Branch of Police arrested seven cheats of a gang at a recruiting agency in the city's Banani and seized around 1,400 fake passports and various fake seals and writing pads from their possession. Additional Commissioner Mollah Nazrul Islam of DB told The Daily Star that the cheats had been taking thousands of taka from innocent people who want to go abroad to work through the recruiting agency Kishwa Enterprise. They seized various kinds of seals and writing pads which the criminals used for forging documents to collect money from people.
-The Daily Star, July 23, 2009.

Act fast to stop stone extraction
The High Court (HC) directed the government to immediately stop the use of excavator machines in stone-quarries at three rivers in Sylhet to protect the natural eco-system of the rivers, and lives, property and livelihoods of the people living near the rivers. The three rivers Piain, Dwaki and Dhala flow through Goain Ghat and Companiganj upazilas of the district. The HC issued a rule upon the government to explain within four weeks why it (government) should not be directed to protect the rivers from mechanised excavation. -The Daily Star, July 21, 2009.

Hills vanishing in Cox's Bazar
Open spaces in the hotel motel zone of Cox's Bazar beach are being filled with earth from hills, violating the government's order. Sources said workers are carrying earth by digging into hills in broad daylight to fill in the open spaces in absence of an effective monitoring system of the local administration. Hill cutting, one of the key factors responsible for harming the environment and biodiversity of the hilly areas, is prohibited by law.
-The Daily Star, July 20, 2009.

Ball back to EC
Speaker Abdul Hamid has finally placed the onus back on the Election Commission to strip BNP lawmaker Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of his parliament membership for violating electoral laws. In a letter dated July 16, the Parliament Secretariat told the EC that scrapping Salauddin's parliament membership on grounds of being disqualified for continuing as an MP does not fall under the jurisdiction of the speaker, officials concerned said. Salauddin concealed educational information in the affidavit he had submitted to the EC at the time of seeking candidacy in the December 29 parliamentary polls, which should disqualify him as a lawmaker. -The Daily Star, July 20, 2009.

Huji managed even a charity licence
Banned Islamist outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami set up a charity called Faruqi Welfare Foundation last year to use it as a cover for receiving funds from abroad. The foundation however could not be in operation as it came under intelligence watch a few days after obtaining the certificate from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) on June 29 that year. Intelligence officials say the militants founded the charity to secure funds through a way around tight measures against terror financing in the post-9/11 years. -The Daily Star, July 19, 2009.

Malaysia continues its freeze on Bangladesh workers
Malaysia decided to continue the freeze on hiring workers from Bangladesh although it allowed electronics and textile sectors again to recruit foreign workers, reported Malaysian newspaper The Star Online. Earlier, a temporary ban was imposed on these two sectors in recruiting foreign workers. The decision taken at a meeting of the Malaysian cabinet committee on foreign and illegal workers yesterday comes as a blow to the 55,000 Bangladeshi workers whose visas were cancelled by Malaysia early this year on grounds of global economic recession. -The Daily Star, July 18, 2009.

Time extension without any ordinance will be illegal
Any extension for submission of amended party charters to the Election Commission will be illegal if given without an ordinance proclaimed to that effect, Deputy Leader of Parliament Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury observed. “Only the president can promulgate an ordinance to extend the time limit,” she added. Sajeda, also presidium member of ruling Awami League, was talking to reporters after a discussion organised by Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik Jote at the city's Institute of Engineers. -The Daily Star, July 18, 2009.

Burma trial reaches final stage
The trial of Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is reaching its final stage with the court hearing closing statements from lawyers. Ms Suu Kyi is being tried on charges of violating the terms of her house arrest in May, after a US man evaded guards and swam to her lakeside home.

If convicted she faces up to five years in jail. The trial has been widely condemned as a ploy to keep the Nobel Peace laureate in custody until after elections. This trial, which had been expected to wrap up in days when it started, has now dragged on for more than two months.

In its final summing up in court, the prosecution is expected to restate its argument that she must be held responsible for the midnight swim to her home by an American well-wisher in early May. Her lawyers will argue that the law she has been charged under is part of a constitution abolished 25 years ago, and that in any case she cannot be responsible for the incident as she was living under tightly-guarded house arrest at the time. -BBC News

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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