Two separate vacation benches of the High Court yesterday declined to hear three petitions, two of them challenging the legality of the National Broadcast Policy and the government's move to empower parliament to impeach Supreme Court judges and the other seeking the court's directives for action against eight government officials for their failure to protect the lives of the Pinak-6 launch passengers.
The court dropped all the three from the list of petitions to be heard on different grounds.
The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman called the two former petitions "premature", as it said no law was formulated over the policy, and the constitution was not amended over SC judges' impeachment.
The bench advised the petitioner, Eunus Ali Akond, an SC lawyer, to move the petitions before another HC bench after the court's 37-day vacation ends on August 31.
Eunus told The Daily Star that he would move the petition on the broadcast policy to a regular bench after the court's reopening, and file a fresh petition after the constitutional bill regarding the judges' impeachment was passed in parliament.
He filed the petition on the broadcast policy on August 24, about three weeks after it took effect. He submitted the other petition on July 20, after media reported that a constitutional amendment giving parliament the authority to remove judges was proposed.
Meanwhile, the vacation bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman said the petition on Pinak-6 should be heard by a regular bench after HC's reopening since the petition was related to public interest.
Pinak-6 sank in the Padma river near Mawa of Munshiganj on August 4, with over 200 passengers. About 46 bodies were recovered, 50 survived, and the rest went missing.
Ashish Kumar Dey, convener of Nou, Sarak and Railpath Jatiya Rakkha Committee (national committee to protect waterways, roads, and railways), and Tushar Rehman, secretary general of Citizens Rights Movement, jointly filed the petition on August 19.
They prayed for a rule upon the government to explain why it should not be directed to remove the eight officials for their failure to take measures to prevent the accident.
The eight are shipping department's director general, its engineer, ship surveyor and inspector on duty at Mawa on August 4, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) director (river safety and traffic department), BIWTA director (port department), Mawa river-port official, and traffic inspector.