• Friday, November 21, 2014

Cabinet may okay judge impeachment bill today

Staff Correspondent

The cabinet may consider approving a constitutional amendment proposal seeking to restore parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court judges for misconduct or incapacity. 

The proposal may be placed today before the cabinet, Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told The Daily Star yesterday.

Law Minister Anisul Huq declined to make any comment over the issue.

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.

If the cabinet approves the proposal, the law ministry will complete the procedure to place it as a bill in the upcoming parliament session scheduled to begin on September 1.

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.

The Supreme Judicial Council has so far probed allegations of misconduct brought against four SC judges in 38 years since its inception.

The president sacked only one judge as per recommendations of the council. Two other judges resigned before completion of the inquiry by the council and another was cleared off the charges.

Published: 12:02 am Monday, August 18, 2014

Last modified: 10:30 pm Monday, August 18, 2014

TAGS: Supreme Court judges constitutional amendment proposal Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan

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