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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: 133
August 29, 2009

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Law week

105 more cases to be dropped
The government decided to withdraw 105 more 'politically motivated' cases filed during the last BNP-Jamaat alliance government and the subsequent caretaker regime. The cases to be dropped include a case against BNP leader Moudud Ahmed in connection with possession of alcoholic beverages. Dropping of the case against Moudud will be the first instance of withdrawing a 'politically motivated' case against any opposition leader, by the Awami League-led coalition government. -The Daily Star, Aug 27, 2009.

No problem in trial under military law
Two amici curae--Barrister Rafique-Ul Huq and Advocate Khandaker Mahbubuddin Ahmed-- told the Supreme Court that the BDR personnel accused of various offences during the February 25-26 BDR mutiny can be tried under military law. The BDR mutineers could be tried under the Army Act 1952 through issuing separate notifications regarding the trial, they told the Supreme Court just a day after another amicus curae (friend of court) opposed the idea. -The Daily Star, Aug 27, 2009.

Lawsuit blocks new NBR hiring
A parliamentary committee expressed disappointment over appointments of 400 inspectors to the National Board of Revenue (NBR), who do not even have the required minimum qualification for the job. The parliamentary watchdog body also asked ministries concerned to resolve a pending legal issue that has been keeping NBR from recruiting new inspectors. Elaborating on the matter, chairman of the committee AHM Mostafa Kamal said some former NBR inspectors had filed cases with the High Court about 20 years ago, protesting their firings from the job. The court subsequently directed NBR to refrain from appointing new inspectors till the matter is resolved. -The Daily Star, Aug 26, 2009.

Military law not applicable for BDR trial
The offences committed in the BDR mutiny cannot be tried under the military law since the BDR is not a disciplined force like the army, advocate TH Khan told the Supreme Court. The Army Act 1952 is applicable only to army personnel and the BDR personnel accused of various offences committed during the February 25-26 bloody mutiny cannot be tried under the act, he said. Placing his submission as an amicus curiae (friend of court) before the 11-member full court of the Appellate Division, TH Khan suggested amending the BDR laws in parliament for trying the offenders. -The Daily Star, Aug 26, 2009.

Primary education up to class VIII, secondary XII
The National Education Policy Formulation Committee will submit the much-awaited National Education Policy to the government on September 2 with the recommendations of extending the primary education level up to class VIII and secondary level up to class XII. The committee has already consulted with over 50 organisations, institutions and stakeholders concerned and now it is finalising the policy, said Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, co-chair of the committee. "The policy is now at the final stage and we will submit it to the education minister on September 2," he told The Daily Star. -The Daily Star, Aug 26, 2009.

Prisoners of forest
No government has ever complied with the forest laws to recognise the land rights of the indigenous Garo or Mandi and Koch people, traditional inhabitants of the Madhupur Sal Forest, but rather used the forestland for non-forestry purposes. Around 25,000 indigenous people of 8,630 families now live in 63 villages in and around Madhupur in coherence with the forest and its ecology.The Garo and Koch people were once the mainstream community here. But the Bangla-speaking people are dominating day by day as the Department of Forest introduced settlers to implement its controversial projects. -The Daily Star, Aug 25, 2009.

PM asks to stop illegal parking
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities to ensure vehicles are not parked haphazardly in the capital where illegal parking contributes to huge traffic snarl-ups every day. Presiding over a cabinet meeting, she also directed them to draft a parking policy immediately. The instructions come at a time when the city traffic continues to be at its worst despite measures against illegal parking and unfit vehicles. -The Daily Star, Aug 25, 2009.

Khaleda allowed to stay for 4 more months
The High Court (HC) extended for four months its earlier order staying the government's third notice that asked BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to vacate her cantonment house by June 30. The HC bench comprising Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury passed the order following an extension prayer submitted by Khaleda's lawyer barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon. The prayer was allowed as the government has not submitted its reply to a HC rule issued on May 27 asking the government to explain within three weeks why this notice should not be declared illegal. -The Daily Star, Aug 24, 2009.

Call for fresh probe into DU violence 2007
Teachers and students of Dhaka University (DU) observed University Black Day on the campus with demands for a fresh investigation into the August 20-22 campus unrest in 2007. In protest at the atrocities committed on teachers and students by law enforcement agencies, DU teachers and students attended classes sporting black badges. They also held several meetings and a procession. -The Daily Star, Aug 24, 2009.

Essentials' prices spiralling up
Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said mobile courts would soon start vigilance to prevent businessmen from selling daily necessities at higher prices than the price mentioned on the hanging price list. City corporations and the district administrations are also ordered to monitor the market, the minister said emerging from a discussion meeting held at the National Museum. But he stressed that the government does not want to control the market with the help of Rab, police or any other law enforcing agencies. -The Daily Star, Aug 23, 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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