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     Volume 4 Issue 20 | November 5, 2004 |

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My Lord!


In the yesteryears judges hardly made the newspapers. Even today most do not. They almost maintained no contact with the public outside the venerated environs of the court. They seemed to make a deliberate effort not to. Needless to say their dignity and authority were much respected and admired.

In this era of caretaker government, what with withdrawal of a judge after allegations of bribery, illness on judgement morn, embarrassment to suspend a hearing for years, controversial blanket appointments and now mark-sheet 'tampering', some members of the judiciary have sadly disappointed the taxpayers by undermining its sacrosanct bearing.

Although the judiciary is surely to be separated soon after the government runs out of reasons to justify any more time extensions, these unscrupulous members, although taken to task by chief justices, have earned a separate yet unenviable niche in the media.

While most news concerning a judge had some association with the judicial system, you knew the one that hit the stands recently was coming. You had to.

What does a guy (hallowed or not) do if his municipality fails to provide essential public facilities? He falls prey to nature, which thankfully makes no discretion between the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the hakim and you.

Nature calls when it wants to and where. Per chance if at that precise overloaded moment you happen to be near the wall of an ambassador's residence, so be it. You have to go ahead with the task at hand or risk wetting your pants. Of the two the latter option is more awkward, but it is difficult to make some juice-heen police understand the fact of the matter.

The above refers to a back page news item carried by The Daily Star on 31 October. It read: Judge detained for wayside leak (by) Staff Correspondent

Law-enforcers Friday detained an additional judge of the High Court for a few hours on charges of urinating on the wall of an ambassador's residence in Gulshan.

The judge, one of the 19 whose recent appointment drew sharp criticism from different quarters, was freed following intervention by an official of the office of chief justice.

Caught with his pants down in the evening, the man in disgrace introduced himself as a High Court judge.

The embarrassed law enforcers then tried to contact the law minister but failed. Officials at the law ministry, however, failed to recognise the judge by name.

When a phone call was made to the residence of the chief justice, an official went over to Gulshan Police Station and police freed the judge on confirmation of his identity.

Both Gulshan police and the ministry remained tight-lipped about the matter.

All that is very fine but the guy should be given a fair deal. What if the judge was making a political statement, protesting for instance that foreign country's foreign policy or its internal human rights disposition? Or perhaps he was avenging a similar act by the landlord. We will never be sure.

The same paper carried another sadder still news item the same day on the front page.

Certificate 'Tampering'

SC Bar asks HC judge to stand down

Tells chief justice to remove Justice Faizee

Staff Correspondent

The Supreme Court Bar Association yesterday in an unprecedented move asked an additional High Court judge to stand down immediately for what it was his tampering with the LLB certificate….

Two major dailies reported that Faizee (Justice Faisal Mahmud), one of the 19 additional judges appointed on August 23, had tampered with his mark sheet in Muslim Law examinations he sat from Chittagong Law College in 1989. An inquiry committee of the Chittagong University revealed the fraud.

Is it not in the least insanity that a person who has been elevated to the chair of a judge based on his forged documents shall judge the morality of 'lesser' beings? Unacceptable, my Lord!

The Daily Star greeted the people with some good news the following day, 1 November:

HC judge withdrawn

His bench colleague refuses to sit with him

The chief justice yesterday withdrew Additional Judge of the High Court Faisal Mahmud Faizee in the face of allegations of his tampering with the LLB examination results and lawyers' threat to boycott his court.

The welcome protest by lawyers and the timely and judicious action of the chief justice to immediately unseat the culpable judge are laudable and exemplary. These are the ethical foundations on which this institution can hope to survive, sustain and step forward.

The nation prays and hopes in abated breath that the saying 'one foul drop spoils the bucket' can never be true for the judiciary.

Is such adverse publicity helpful for the much-talked-about and vaunted misnomer 'image' of our country? You be the judge, my Lord!


Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2004