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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: 153
January 23, 2010

This week's issue:
Reviewing the views
Law vision
Law letter
Human Rights monitor
Law amusements
Law lexicon
Law news
Law Week

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Law week

16 jawans confess to BDR mutiny
Sixteen BDR jawans of 7 Rifle Battalion admitted to their involvement in mutiny and begged for mercy in writing before BDR Special Court-1 in Satkhira just a day after they pleaded not guilty. This is the first instance that any suspected BDR mutineers admitted to their guilt since the trial began in four BDR courts on November 24 last year. The three-member court headed by BDR Director General M Mainul Islam received sixteen petitions for mercy, reports our Satkhira correspondent. The court said it would consider the petitions as per the BDR Act. - The Daily Star, January 21, 2010.

JS passes nat'l ID registration bill
Parliament passed a bill keeping a provision for registration of national identity and issuance of identity cards to all citizens of Bangladesh. As per the bill, the government will issue national identity cards to all citizens and the cards will remain valid for 15 years since its issuance. However, no gazette notification will be issued making it mandatory for the citizens to show or submit the cards to get access to any service or facility before the completion of issuance of cards to all citizens, said a provision of the bill. Law Minister Shafique Ahmed proposed the bill and it was passed by voice votes. - The Daily Star, January 21, 2010.

Govt to enact law to regulate civil service
The government will enact a civil service act to regulate appointment, promotion, transfer and terms and conditions in the public service, LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam told parliament. Though the constitution prescribes that the House legislate to regulate the appointment and conditions of service for those working for the republic, there has not yet been any act to that end. In the absence of a law, successive governments exercised the rules made by the president regarding appointments and terms of jobs of the public servants. - The Daily Star, January 20, 2010.

HC bench feels 'embarrassed' to hear Sircar's writ petition
A High Court bench felt "embarrassed" to hear the writ petition filed by former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar challenging the legality of a parliamentary probe body's decision to recover "misappropriated" money from him through the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The HC bench comprised of Justice Nozrul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Mamnoon Rahman sent a petition to Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam for an appropriate order in this regard. Sircar repeatedly urged the bench to hear his petition partly and adjourn the hearing for two weeks. - The Daily Star, January 20, 2010.

Govt moves to open VoIP
The government has decided in principle to issue more VoIP licences for handling international calls to trigger a price war and bring illegal VoIP operators under a legal framework. As per an amended policy, illegal VoIP (voice over internet protocol) operators will get a chance to make their business legal by routing calls through legal exchanges. Earlier, international calls through VoIP were completely prohibited under the International Long Distance Telecommunications Service Policy. The government did not legalise the existing illegal VoIP business. However, it expects that when more exchanges are launched, VoIP calls will be routed through legal channels due to competitive pricing. - The Daily Star, January 19, 2010.

Clemency petitions rejected
President Zillur Rahman has rejected the clemency petitions filed by three of the five convicts of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman assassination case. "The president has rejected their mercy petitions," a senior Bangabhaban official told BSS. He said the presidential decision came immediately after the petitions of condemned Lt Cols AKM Mohiuddin (lancer) and Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and Major Bazlul Huda reached before him through the official channel. Two other convicts Lt Cols Syed Faruq Rahman and Sultan Shahriar Khan are yet to file the clemency petitions as their lawyers said they might consider seeking the mercy only after exhausting the last legal process of review of the verdict by the Appellate Division. - The Daily Star, January 19, 2010.

2 petitions filed against hearing
Two petitions were filed with the Supreme Court (SC) for adjourning scheduled hearing on the earlier pending petitions against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the Fifth Amendment to the constitution of Bangladesh. The Fifth Amendment had legitimised all governments that had been in power following the coup of August 15, 1975 till April 9, 1979 including late president Ziaur Rahman's ascension to the presidency. With the two new petitions, a total of six petitions against the HC verdict are now pending with the SC. - The Daily Star, January 18, 2010.

Case filed for seizure of head office
An employee of Proshika filed a case with a Dhaka court against nine supporters of former chairman of the organisation Qazi Faruque on charges of the seizure of the head office last week. Metropolitan Magistrate Roksana Begum Happy took the case into cognisance and directed the officer-in-charge of Pallabi Police Station to investigate the matter and submit a report by March 4, 2010. The accused--Sheikh Shahid Hossain, Mohammad Motiur Rahman, Mohammad Abu Sayeed, Dulal Chandra Dey, Kazi Mohammad Saifuddin, Kazi Khazey Alam, Abdul Haq Howlader, Shahtab Hossain and Afzal Hossain Bhuiyan--were earlier sacked from Proshika. - The Daily Star, January 18, 2010.

Govt to ensure int'l standard war crimes trial
State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Quamrul Islam urged people not to go for wholesale filing of cases across the country against war criminals as that may hamper the trial of the criminals. "Have confidence in the government. It will make sure that the trial is held as per international standards," he told a seminar at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of Dhaka University organised by Bangladesh Awami Ain Chhatra Parishad. The minister also assured the people of a fair trial of the individuals who were involved in any kind of war crimes under the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973, which was amended last year. - The Daily Star, January 17, 2010.

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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