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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: 132
August 22 , 2009

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Mobile court rules go against SC opinion
Empowering the executive magistrates to hold trials of people for electoral offences through the newly promulgated mobile court ordinance goes against a Supreme Court opinion. In line with the government's decision, President Zillur Rahman promulgated the ordinance on July 23 empowering executive magistrates to run mobile courts to maintain law and order and try people for electoral offences. The general administrative committee of the SC, headed by the chief justice, unanimously decided in December that only experienced judicial magistrates should be engaged to administer justice in cases filed for electoral offences. -The Daily Star, Aug 20, 2009.

SC appoints 10 amici curiae for opinions
The Supreme Court (SC) appointed 10 senior lawyers as amicus curiae (friend of court) for their expert opinions on a reference seeking the apex court's view on whether the people charged with mutiny and massacre at the BDR headquarters can be tried under the military law. The amicus curiae are Dr Kamal Hossain, advocate Khondoker Mahbubuddin Ahmed, barrister Rafiq-ul Haque, advocate TH Khan, barrister M Ameer Ul Islam, advocate Mahmudul Islam, barrister Rokon Uddin Mahmud, advocate AF Hassan Ariff, barrister Ajmalul Hossain and advocate AFM Mesbahuddin. -The Daily Star, Aug 20, 2009.

Act tough on extortion
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina directed the authorities concerned to take immediate stern actions to stop rampant extortions in the country. At a regular cabinet meeting she warned that none including ministers, state ministers, lawmakers and political leaders irrespective of party affiliations will be spared if found involved in extortions. "Stern actions will be taken against whoever is involved in extortion," Hasina was quoted to The Daily Star as saying by a minister who requested anonymity.
-The Daily Star, Aug 18, 2009.

Lease of 8,000 acres hill land cancelled
Leases of 8,175 acres of land in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), given years back for horticulture and rubber plantation, have been cancelled for violation of lease agreements. Official sources said leases of 15,000 acres more await immediate cancellation. The leases of CHT land cancelled until last Sunday include 7,450 acres in Bandarban, 425 acres in Khagrachhari and 300 acres in Rangamati. The lessees include influential people like ex-adviser to the caretaker government Major General (retd) MA Matin, former ministers and civil and military bureaucrats.
-The Daily Star, Aug 18, 2009.

Trial reference sent to SC for opinion
President Zillur Rahman sent a reference to the Supreme Court (SC) for its opinion on whether the people charged with mutiny and massacre at the BDR headquarters can be tried under the military law. The civilians and BDR officials including assistant directors and deputy assistant directors, allegedly involved in the BDR mutiny and the massacre, can not be tried under the BDR law, said the reference. Quoting the reference, an official press release said the highest punishment under the BDR law is seven years' imprisonment while it's death penalty under the military law. -The Daily Star, Aug 18, 2009.

Sircar files writ against JS body formation
Former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging the formation of a parliamentary subcommittee to investigate graft allegations against him. The BNP leader in his petition also prayed to the court to stay the proceedings and recommendations made by the parliamentary subcommittee against him. The recommendations include cancellation of the House membership of Jamiruddin and legal actions against him on graft charges. -The Daily Star, Aug 17, 2009.

DMP to go hi-tech
Dhaka Metropolitan Police starts centrally monitoring important intersections of the capital with modern equipment from September 1 to curb street crime and ease congestion, a major headache for city dwellers. The DMP has set up a control room--Command, Control and Communication System, known as C3S--installed closed-circuit television cameras and dot matrix displays at key intersections. This modern system is now on its month-long trials. -The Daily Star, Aug 16, 2009.

Drug trafficker snatched
A drug trafficker in handcuffs was snatched by a mob allegedly at the instigation of his accomplices from police at Mirpur area, leaving two informers injured. The arrestee, identified as Shahid, 30, is a stranded Pakistani living at the Bihari camp of Mirpur-11. Locals said a police team led by Sub-Inspector (SI) Mohammad Jasim nabbed Shahid from inside the camp at around 4:00pm. As the detainee started shouting seeking the help of his accomplices, around 150 women and men from the densely populated camp throng the spot and took away Shahid in handcuffs, locals said. -The Daily Star, Aug 16, 2009.

Govt plans to appoint 50 more HC judges
The government is planning to appoint 50 more judges to the High Court (HC) Division and a few judges to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) to deal with a huge backlog of cases. Sources said the process of appointing new judges will start next year when a number of judges of both the divisions of the apex court will retire. Talking to The Daily Star, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed recently said that at least 50 more judges should be appointed to the High Court Division in order to reduce the number of pending cases and to ensure fair justice. The judges will be appointed after arranging office rooms and other logistic supports for them, he said. -The Daily Star, Aug 15, 2009.


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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