16th amendment to constitution challenged
A Supreme Court lawyer has challenged the legality of the 16th constitutional amendment empowering parliament to remove SC judges on grounds of misbehaviour and incapacity.
In his writ petition filed with the High Court yesterday, Eunus Ali Akond said to become a parliamentarian, no specific academic qualification is determined in the constitution, but a lawyer or a lower court judge needs at least 10 years of job experience to become an SC judge.
Therefore, a lawmaker should not be empowered to determine the fate of an SC judge, who is academically more qualified than him [lawmaker], he claimed.
The judiciary is independent, and it cannot be controlled by any organ of the state as per the SC judgment in the judiciary separation case, Eunus added.
As the power to impeach an SC judge has been given to parliament through the recent amendment, the independence of the judiciary might be threatened, he mentioned in the petition.
Eunus appealed to the HC to direct the government to cancel the amendment to the charter and to restore the previous constitutional provision of the Supreme Judicial Council.
According to the provision, the Supreme Judicial Council, led by the chief justice, would enquire into the capacity or conduct of a judge and make a recommendation to the president, and then the president could order on the judge's removal.
Yesterday, the lawyer prayed to the court to issue a rule upon the government to explain why the 16th amendment to the constitution should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.
The HC is likely to hear the petition on October 19, Eunus told The Daily Star.
On September 17, parliament passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill, rejecting all calls for soliciting public opinion, and a gazette notification was issued in this regard on September 22.