It's not for harassing any judge
The move to enact the Supreme Court Judges (Investigation) Act-2016 is not aimed at removing or harassing any judge, Bangladesh Law Commission Chairman ABM Khairul Haque said yesterday.
The draft law has been prepared just to probe the allegations of misconduct or incapacity of the judges, he told a press conference at the commission's office in the city.
Khairul, also a former chief justice, said everybody is accountable to the people and there are laws in every country, except Pakistan, to impeach judges. He expressed confidence that no allegation would be raised against the SC judges.
He said the proposed law would not have a psychological impact on the judges.
“While preparing the draft of the law, we kept in mind the issue so that the judges are not harassed unnecessarily.”
The former CJ observed that a policy should be framed to appoint SC judges. “We will help the authorities make the policy, if they wanted,” he added.
The cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of the law.
The Jatiya Sangsad on September 17, 2014, unanimously passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill through which it got back the powers to remove SC judges for misconduct or incapacity.
Under the proposed law, any aggrieved citizen would be able to file complaints with the Speaker about misconduct or incapacity of an SC judge. The Speaker would then form a 10-member parliamentary committee to probe the allegations.
Justice Khairul said the investigation would be conducted with secrecy. If the parliament decides against punishing a judge even after he was found guilty, it would be able to do so, he added.
Asked how it would be possible, he said if two-thirds of the MPs do not vote for the judge's impeachment, the judge would not be impeached. In that case, the complainant could seek justice under the existing law.
On having confidence in lawmakers at a time when the SC only recently punished two of them, Khairul said the decision would come from the majorities, not from the two.
The law commission has confidence in the MPs, he noted.
About the high-powered committee to probe the allegations of misconducts against the judges, he said a former chief justice, the attorney general and an eminent personality would be part of the body.
The ex-CJ would be there to give it a neutral shape, while the attorney general would have knowledge about the judge and the eminent person would represent the people, he told newsmen.
Prof M Shah Alam, member of the law commission, was present.