Lower Court Judges: Anisul, Fakhrul lock horns over SC's authority | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:58 AM, December 13, 2017

Lower Court Judges: Anisul, Fakhrul lock horns over SC's authority

The Supreme Court's power has not been curtailed rather increased following the issuance of the gazette notification determining the disciplinary rules for lower court judges, Law Minister Anisul Huq said yesterday.

"It has been clearly stated in section 29 (2) of the disciplinary rules that if the proposal of the competent authority [president] and the Supreme Court's advice are not the same, the latter [SC advice] will get priority. It never happened in the past,” he said while talking to reporters at his secretariat office.

However, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday alleged that the government issued the notification, keeping its control over the lower court as part of a "serious conspiracy", UNB reports.

"We've struggled for a long time for independence of the judiciary, and talked much about it ... Now they [government] have taken the lower judiciary under the administration again," he said while addressing a discussion at Dhaka Reporters Unity.

On Monday, the government issued the notification on the lower court judges' disciplinary rules, keeping the president's authority over their conduct.

The president will make necessary decisions in consultation with the SC, and the law ministry will implement those, a high official of the ministry said interpreting the contents of the notification titled “Bangladesh Judicial Service (Discipline) Rules 2017”.

About the criticism against the disciplinary rules, Law Minister Anisul said those who were criticising the rules were doing so without understanding it.

The government has no objection to the constructive criticism, he said, adding that if the critics study the rules, they cannot find anything in the rules to criticise. 

Supreme Court Bar Association President Zainul Abedin told reporters that the government put "the last nail in the coffin" of independence of the judiciary through issuing the notification on the lower court judges' disciplinary rules.

The SC has lost its supremacy following the notification. The government has done everything to control the judiciary, he said. 

Talking to journalists at his office yesterday, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said he got relieved of a burden.

He said he had to take time again and again from the SC for issuing the notification, which was very embarrassing for him.

The lower judiciary was separated from the executive branch on November 1, 2007, following the SC directives in the Masdar Hossain case, also known as the judiciary separation case.

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