16th Amendment Verdict: PM informed president about govt stance
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, as the chief of the government and the party, met the president to convey the government's stance over the Supreme Court's verdict on the 16th amendment.
“As the chief of the government and the ruling Awami League, it was her responsibility to convey to the president the government's stance on the 16th constitutional amendment verdict,” he told a programme at the secretariat.
Meanwhile, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has termed the president-PM meeting “unprecedented” and accused the government of hatching a plot to “snatch the independence of the judiciary”.
He was addressing a programme at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday, a day after the PM met President Abdul Hamid at the Bangabhaban. The country's overall flood situation and the SC verdict, among other issues, came up for discussion at the meeting.
Passed in 2014, the 16th amendment to the constitution had restored parliament's powers to remove SC judges for misconduct or incapacity. Last year, the High Court declared the amendment illegal and the decision was upheld by the SC on July 3 this year. The apex court released the full verdict on August 1.
Since then, the AL has been criticising and the BNP has been praising the verdict. Food Minister Qamrul Islam even demanded removal of the chief justice for some of the observations he made in the verdict.
Speaking at the discussion at the secretariat, Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, said apart from the SC verdict, the PM also informed the president about the country's latest flood situation and enquired about his health.
“Who is putting pressure on whom to change the Supreme Court verdict?” he questioned referring to the BNP's allegation in this regard.
“Can you make somebody do anything by putting pressure on him who holds the post of the president? The BNP has got over-excited about the issue.”
“With the delivery of the verdict, the BNP has been given an issue and the party is trying to take advantage of it after being convinced by its standing committee member Moudud Ahmed,” the minister alleged.
He said the BNP secretary general was disappointed as a plot to carry out another attack like the August 21 grenade attack on the National Mourning Day in Dhaka was foiled. “There was a plan to kill at least 500 people, including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but it was foiled. This led to Fakhrul's dissatisfaction.”
The BNP leaders became “reckless drivers” in politics and nobody knows when they would cause an accident, Quader added. He called upon party men to stay alert for the sake of the country's progress and development.
Addressing the discussion at the Jatiya Press Club, Fakhrul said they were stunned by the meeting held with President Abdul Hamid over the 16th amendment verdict.
“It was not supposed to be held. It is unprecedented.”
He urged party men to be vocal against the government's stance on the SC verdict.
“A plot is being hatched again to destroy democracy. Alongside BNP men, the people from all other political parties, socio-cultural organisations and civil society members should come forward to protect the country, its constitution and democracy,” he said.