Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain at a full court meeting of the High Court judges has decided to send three lower court judges into forced retirement for committing misconduct and corruption while discharging duties.
The judges are Chairman of First Labour Court of Chittagong and former District and Sessions Judge of Dhaka AKM Ishtiaque Hossain, Additional District Judge of Jessore Mizanur Rahman, and Joint District Judge of Lalmonirhat Salauddin Md Akram.
Supreme Court Registrar AKM Shamsul Islam yesterday told The Daily Star that separate departmental cases were filed against the three after allegations of misconduct and corruption brought against them.
Some district judges have conducted investigation for several times into the allegations, and following their probe reports, the general administration committee of the SC has recommended their punishment, he said.
The SC registrar said the law ministry would now execute the decisions of the full court meeting.
Ishtiaque had acquitted the accused in a few hundred corruption cases without taking the offences of the cases into cognizance, while he was a district judge in Khulna, a law ministry high official told The Daily Star yesterday.
The official also said there were allegations of taking bribes and other corruption against Mizanur, and allegations against Salauddin of remaining absent from work for a long time.
Therefore, the ministry has recommended that they should be punished, he said.
The law ministry has already received the resolution of the SC decision, and the ministry will soon take steps to execute the decision, the official added.
The full court meeting was informed that a total of 60 posts of district judge, 90 posts of additional district judge, and 179 posts of joint district judge will fall vacant in the next one year.
Now, 263 posts of senior assistant judge are remaining vacant, SC sources said.
The full court meeting, which was held on July 17 and 21 at the conference lounge of the SC, also decided not to give promotion to 12 additional district judges to the post of district judges, since department proceedings are going on against them on different allegations.
The chief justice at the full court meeting also approved a government proposal for reducing the tenure of the services of lower court judges to expedite their promotions to higher tiers. According to the SC decision, a senior assistant judge or equivalent judicial official will now have to get minimum five years' service experience including six months' judicial experience for promotion to the post of joint district judge.
As per the existing rules, an official of the same rank has to get minimum seven years' service experience including two years' judicial experience for getting promotion to the post of joint district judge.
A joint district judge or equivalent judicial official will now have to get at least eight years' service experience including six months' judicial experience for getting promotion to the post of additional district judge.
According to the existing rules, the same ranked official has to get minimum 10 years' service experience including two years' judicial experience for getting promotion to the post of additional district judge.
An additional district judge and equivalent judicial official will now have to have at least 15 years' service experience including one year and six months' judicial experience to get promotion to the post of district and sessions judge.
As per the existing rules, the same ranked official needs to get at least 15 years' service experience including two years' judicial experience for promotion to the post of district and sessions judge.
The chief justice also approved the recommendation of the general administration committee for promoting 81 additional judges to the post of district and sessions judge.
The full court meeting has approved the proposal for reducing the tenure of service of judicial officials for a transitional period so that they can be given promotion quickly and more new judges can be appointed to fill up the vacant posts for quick disposal of the pending cases, said the SC registrar.
SC sources said around 25 lakh cases were pending with different lower courts across the country.