The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned the hearing until March 20 on the contempt rule against two ministers for their “contemptuous” comments about the chief justice in relation to the war crimes case against Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali.
The apex court ordered Food Minister Qamrul Islam and Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque to appear before it on March 20 in connection with the rule.
The two ministers have already offered unconditional apology to the SC for their comments.
A nine-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order after lawyers of the ministers prayed for an adjournment of the rule's hearing.
Their counsels, Barrister Rafique-Ul Huq and advocate Abdul Based Majumder, told the SC that Minister Qamrul was abroad for an official visit and would appear before the court any day after March 16.
Earlier in the day, Minister Mozammel appeared before the court in compliance with the SC's March 8 order.
Abdul Based Majumder told reporters that both ministers offered unconditional apology to the SC for their comments about the chief justice and that they would appear before the court on March 20 in connection with the contempt rule.
Qamrul on Monday and Mozammel yesterday submitted two separate petitions with the SC through their lawyers Syed Mamun Mahbub and Abdul Baset Majumder offering unconditional apology.
The two ministers on March 5 and the following day criticised the chief justice after the CJ expressed dissatisfaction over “poor performance” of prosecutors and investigators of the International Crimes Tribunal in dealing with the war crimes case against Mir Quasem.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a recent cabinet meeting slammed the two ministers, who were present at the meeting, for their comments, and said she and her government would not own such comments.
On March 8, the nine-member apex court bench issued the contempt rule on the two ministers and asked them to explain by March 14 their “derogatory and highly contemptuous statements” and appear before it on March 15.