Bill to restore Parliament's power to sack SC judges to be passed on Wednesday

September 16, 2014 3:21 PM

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The bill was tabled in the House by law minister Anisul Huq on Sept 7. It was then forwarded to the Parliamentary Standing Committee of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs for vetting.

Committee chairman Suranjit Sengupta, placed the report on the bill during Sunday's session.

The amendment pending with Parliament requires that a law be introduced to guide the investigation and gathering of evidence of a judge’s incapability or misconduct.

The preamble to the Bill narrates the backgrounds - how the power to remove judges was transferred to the Supreme Judicial Council from Parliament.

The parliamentary committee dropped it and maintained that Article 96 of the Constitution was more appropriate and necessary.

Law Minister Huq has assured that the law will be formulated within three months of the amendment.

While presenting the report on Sunday, Suranjit Sengupta said, "I want to firmly maintain that this amendment aims only to restore the 1972 Constitution's spirit, not to further any political gains."

"But it is sad when we see that a quarter is using the word impeachment on purpose to confuse the people. I want to make it clear that this (impeachment) is not applicable in reality," he added.

Parliament Secretariat officials said on Tuesday that all formalities had been completed to pass the bill.

The BNP, which boycotted the last general election and is now out of Parliament, alleges the government is pushing through the bill to impose itself on the judiciary.

The first Constitution of Bangladesh in 1972 gave Parliament the jurisdiction to settle the tenure of top judges and decide on their removal.

The president was then vested with the power through the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in 1974.

After military ruler Ziaur Rahman usurped state power, the Fourth Amendment was annulled and a Supreme Judicial Council was formed following an order to enforce the impeachment rule, which is still in force.


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