Rizvi Ahmed. Star file photo
BNP-led 20-party alliance today announced a three-day countrywide programme to protest against the government’s move to restore parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court judges.
As per the programme, the leaders and activists of the alliance will stage demonstrations across the country, excluding Dhaka city, tomorrow.
The alliance will hold demonstrations at 18 points in the capital on Wednesday and also form human chains across the country on August 30.
BNP joint secretary general Rizvi Ahmed announced the programme at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office this morning.
Announcing the programme, Rizvi said the current parliament has no representative of the elected MPs as over 154 lawmakers elected unopposed in the January 5 general election.
“So, any decision on the judge impeachment will be the decision of Awami League only,” he said.
On August 18, the cabinet approved the proposal for amendment of constitution to pave the way for restoring the parliament’s authority to impeach the Supreme Court judges for misconduct or incapacity.
According to the existing constitutional provision, the Supreme Judicial Council comprising the chief justice and two other senior most judges of the Appellate Division investigates allegations of misconduct against any SC judge and makes necessary recommendations to the president.
The president then takes steps as per the suggestions. He can also impeach a judge for having physical and mental incapacity to properly perform the functions of his office.
The current provision has to be scrapped to restore the parliament's authority.
The 1972 constitution empowered parliament to impeach SC judges.
But the Awami League-led government in early 1975 conferred the power on the president through the fourth constitutional amendment.
Military ruler Gen Ziaur Rahman, who amended the constitution through martial law proclamation in 1978, scrapped the president's power and introduced the supreme judicial council system.
The AL-led government kept the system almost as it was, while passing the 15th amendment to the constitution in 2011.