SC will be considering 16th amendment to the constitution soon: Minister of Law

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The minister made the remark when discussing a bill in parliament on Tuesday.

The government challenged the abolition of the 16th Amendment on the grounds “of apparent errors in reading the file,” the minister said.

“Our appeal has enough merit for consideration. We have already requested a hearing from the Appeal Division in this matter. The Appeal Division informed us that they will hear from him soon, ”Huq added.

During a discussion in the House on June 30 last year, in response to a question from Jatiya Party MP Md Mujibul Haque Chunnu, the Minister of Justice said the initiative would be taken to start the hearing once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

The Parliament adopted the 16th constitutional bill on September 17, 2014, giving it the possibility of dismissing the best judges.

Bangladesh’s first constitution in 1972 gave parliament the power to terminate the term of senior judges and consider their removal.

In 1975, the president gained power through the 4th Amendment.

After Ziaur Rahman began his military rule, he revoked this amendment and formed a Supreme Judicial Council to oversee the case, following an order to enforce the impeachment rule.

The question of the reactivation of this authority arose after the entry into office of the Awami League in 2009.

The issue was also discussed in 2011 when the 15th Amendment to the Constitution was discussed.

After the amendment was passed in 2014, nine Supreme Court lawyers filed a petition that year challenging it.

The High Court overturned the amendment on May 5, 2016, declaring the amendment illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to the principles of the separation of state powers and the independence of the judiciary.

The government subsequently appealed the High Court’s decision, but it was overturned by the Appeal Division headed by former Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on July 3, 2017.

By abolishing the 16th Constitutional Amendment, the Supreme Court re-established the Supreme Judicial Council established during the military rule of Ziaur Rahman. In addition, a set of guidelines has been introduced for the best judges.

In the personal reflection section of the 799-page verdict, Sinha criticized and discussed various issues that included the country’s politics, the military regime, the electoral commission, and the independence of the judiciary.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina criticized Sinha for his views and the verdict on the constitutional amendment. Some ruling party leaders described Sinha’s activities as “efforts to overthrow the government through a judicial coup by a judge.”

Sinha later became the country’s first chief justice to resign when he tendered his resignation from overseas, 81 days before his term expired.

After her resignation, the Supreme Court said in a rare statement that Sinha faced 11 specific charges, including corruption, money laundering, financial irregularities and moral misconduct.

On November 9, a Dhaka court sentenced him to 11 years in prison on two counts of corruption in a Tk 40 million money laundering case from Farmers Bank, now known as Padma Bank.

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