Local government, rural development and cooperatives minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain on Friday alleged the chief justice, Surendra Kumar Sinha, has brought many unconstitutional and immoral issues in the 16th amendment verdict, Agencies report.
“The honourable chief justice has spoken of many unconstitutional and immoral issues in the verdict. Even he has shown the audacity to belittle Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” alleged Mosharraf Hossain while addressing a public rally organised to mark the inauguration of Sheikh Hasina Road in Shibchar of Madaripur.
“We – from this rally – strongly condemn these things. Please, re-consider your [chief justice] judgement about the unwarranted issues mentioned in the verdict,” he said.
Also a ruling Bangladesh Awami League presidium member, Mosharraf said it is not possible to run judicial activities hurting people.
“When people lose their confidence in the judiciary of a country, the country falls into a catastrophic danger. You don’t give any verdict voluntarily, hurting people,” he added.
Calling on the Appellate Division judges to review their verdict, the minister said, “With due respect, we are humbly requesting you… reconsider the unwarranted issues, because the people of Bangladesh don’t want that the judiciary damaged.”
He went on to say, “You yourself scrutinise the verdict to see what type of issues are there that may offend the people.”
The minister called on the people to bring Sheikh Hasina to power for two more terms to make Bangladesh a prosperous country.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on 3 July this year scrapped the 16th amendment and restored the Supreme Judicial Council and the full text of the verdict was released 1 August, stirring a huge debate over which of the state organ is sovereign – is it the legislature or the judiciary.
The AL-led 10th parliament on 17 September 2014 unanimously passed the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Bill restoring its power to remove Supreme Court judges on the grounds of misconduct or incapacity, scrapping the existing constitutional provisions for the Supreme Judicial Council inquiry into such allegations.
The country’s main opposition political party – Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – has hailed the court verdict and is accusing the ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) of standing against the judiciary.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Law Commission chairman and former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque observed that the 16th amendment verdict has effectively removed the judges’ accountability to the people.
Following the Supreme Court verdict that stripped off parliament’s power to remove judges, he said, it ‘seems to me that Bangladesh is no longer a People’s Republic’; rather it becomes a ‘Judges’ Republic of Bangladesh’.