ACCORDING to a report in a leading Bangla daily, in his last act as the chairman of the national committee for recommending withdrawal of “politically motivated” cases its chairman, the erstwhile state minister for law, had recommended withdrawal of cases or names of accused therein in ninety much talked about lawsuits. What is inexplicable is that among those are forty cases of murder in many of which the accused have given statement admitting their guilt. Moreover, these did not have the recommendation of the district committees either.
The said national committee, which was set up in 2009, has so far recommended partial or complete withdrawal of seven thousand 198 cases. A substantial number of these are related to murder.
We feel that the committee has overstepped its remit. And we would hope the apex court of the country should suo moto seek clarification as to how legal action against murderers, rent seekers etc can fall within the category of 'politically motivated' cases. And many of the cases date back as far as 1988, while some of them have been registered after the AL led government came to power in 2009.
Admittedly, governments have during their period in office instituted cases to harass political opponents but to use that excuse to let notorious killers off the hook is a great disservice to the rule of law and good governance.
The matter is mind boggling and one that has serious implications, for the rule of law has been subordinated to the rule of men. The minister should clarify the rationale for his action.