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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: 174
June 19, 2010

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Mother sent back to jail hour after son's death
Four-year-old Mohammad Mustafa who had spent the past three years of his life in prison with his convicted mother died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) early yesterday. His mother Rojina Begum was taken back to Dhaka Central Jail from the hospital only an hour after the death of her son.

Usually prisoners are released on parole to attend burials of their near ones if approved by the Home Ministry but some inmates do not know how to avail the parole.

Inspector General of Police (Prison) Brig Gen Ashraful Islam Khan said they brought her back to jail as they were not authorised to release her on parole without prior permission from the Home Ministry. Rojina along with her husband Mohammad Motaher were charged with murder and had been serving a term of six years in Rangpur along with their child Mustafa. - The Daily Star, June 18, 2010.

SQ Chy held, freed
BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury was released after the police arrested him in a case filed against him for making false statement on the voter list before the media. He was released from Bakolia Police Station around 12 midnight following a request from the Election Commission, Abdul Jalil Mondal, additional commission of Chittagong metropolitan police (CMP), told The Daily Star. Earlier Farhad Hossain, returning officer for Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) polls, said they sent a letter to Deputy Commissioner (North) of CMP Bonoj Kumar Majumder requesting him to release Chowdhury for the sake of fair election.- The Daily Star, June 17, 2010.

Mahmudur remanded in sedition case
A Dhaka court directed Detective Branch (DB) of police to take Mahmudur Rahman on a four-day remand, subject to his recovery from illness, in connection with a sedition case. Mahmudur, acting editor of recently closed daily Amar Desh, was remanded earlier for a total of seven days in three other cases. Metropolitan Magistrate Ismail Hossain directed the jail authorities to take necessary steps for his treatment following a petition submitted by his lawyers, and passed the remand order. - The Daily Star, June 17, 2010.

SC order stalls Amar Desh publication
The Supreme Court stayed for four weeks the HC stay order on the government action to cancel the declaration of publication of the daily Amar Desh. Chamber judge of the Appellate Division Justice SK Sinha passed the SC order after hearing a petition moved by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam seeking stay on the HC stay order. He also directed the government to file a regular leave to appeal petition against the HC order with the SC within this period. On June 10, HC stayed the government action that cancelled the declaration of publication of the daily. - The Daily Star, June 16, 2010.

SC not interested
Eleven serving and two retired bureaucrats keep on enjoying High Court bail in a sedition case known as Uttara Conspiracy, as the Appellate Division turned a deaf ear to a government plea. Vacation chamber judge SK Sinha did not entertain the petition moved by the Attorney General (AG) seeking stay on the operation of a High Court order granting interim anticipatory bail to the 13 accused. “The chamber judge passed no order on the petition keeping the HC order in force,” said AG Mahbubey Alam as he emerged from the court. On June 10, the High Court upon a petition filed by the accused granted ad interim anticipatory bail for four months on surrender before it. - The Daily Star, June 16, 2010.

'Outsiders' in campaign despite ban
A number of Awami League and BNP leaders from Dhaka were seen on the campaign trail in Chittagong for two mayoral candidates of CCC polls, violating an earlier decision by the Election Commission. The EC had decided not to allow any outsider in the port city until the June 17 elections are held. However, the central leaders said the decision was not well circulated. "It was not known to me as Election Commission did not circulate this decision. I heard about the decision from journalists. I am leaving the area right now as I am a law abiding person," said Asaduzzaman Noor MP while talking to The Daily Star. Former lawmaker and Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal president Moazzem Hossain Alal said the Election Commission created the confusion by not publicising the decision. - The Daily Star, June 15, 2010.

Telecom law amendment bill placed
A bill was placed in parliament for amending the telecommunication law with a provision of stern action against individuals using telecom or radio apparatus for malicious purposes. An individual could face imprisonment of up to five years, or a maximum fine of Tk 300 crore or both for "activities against national harmony, public security and friendly relations with neighbouring countries" through use of telecom or radio apparatus, said the bill. If any posting or exchange of message against national harmony appears on the web, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) would ask the telecom service provider to remove it before taking any tough action. But if the directive is not complied with, stern actions would be taken against individuals or organisations responsible, it said. - The Daily Star, June 14, 2010.

PM for 6-month maternity leave
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said maternity leave should be increased to six months from the present four months. “Maternity leave should be increased to six months. I think four months' maternity leave is not enough for the mothers to take best care of their new born babies,” the premier said while speaking at a function at Osmani Memorial auditorium in the capital. Bangladesh government and Unicef jointly arranged the function marking the Safe Motherhood Day observed on May 28. A total of 27 health facilities from seven divisions have received best performance awards. The prime minister distributed the awards among the recipients. - The Daily Star, June 14, 2010.

Tough law on way for errant telcos
The government has moved to amend the telecommunication law to punish telecom operators for wrongdoings without giving them scope for challenging the regulator's decision. Bangladesh Telecommunication (Amendment) Act 2010, already approved by the cabinet, will be placed in parliament today to have a stringent legal framework for telecom operators. The bill proposes provisions of a fine up to Tk 300 crore for an offence, unilateral changes in clauses in an operator's licence by the regulator and arrest of telecom stakeholders without any warrant. - The Daily Star, June 13, 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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