Executive magistrates can conduct mobile courts until the Supreme Court disposes of three leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the government, the top court said yesterday.
The appeals were lodged against a High Court verdict that last year declared unconstitutional the rules under which the executive magistrates operate such courts.
The apex court yesterday said its stay order on the HC verdict would remain valid until the three government petitions are disposed of, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Daily Star.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, who is now discharging the duties of the chief justice, came up with the order while hearing the petitions.
The court also adjourned the hearing till January 16, as Barrister Amir-Ul Islam, a lawyer for the government, was not present in the courtroom. He is currently abroad.
The attorney general prayed for the adjournment. Barrister Hassan MS Azim appeared for the writ petitioners.
Following three separate writ petitions, the HC on May 11 last year declared unconstitutional the rules under which executive magistrates run the mobile courts.
The HC also observed that empowering executive magistrates with judicial powers is “a frontal attack on the independence of the judiciary and is violative of the theory of separation of powers”.
The government challenged the HC verdict with the SC.
The SC then stayed the HC verdict, allowing executive magistrates to conduct mobile courts for the time being.
Since then, the apex court has extended the stay order several times.