Former chief justice Latifur Rahman, who led the caretaker government in 2001, passed away at a city hospital early yesterday. He was 81.
He left behind his wife, three daughters, a host of relatives and friends.
Latifur was admitted to Samorita Hospital on May 23 after he had suffered a stroke, said a hospital official.
Court proceedings of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court were suspended after 11:00am yesterday in honor of the former CJ. The High Court didn't continue proceedings after 1:15pm and the chamber judge of the apex court didn't hold proceedings.
Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha gave directives to this end, HC Additional Registrar Sabbir Faiz told The Daily Star.
The namaz-e-janaza of Justice Latifur was held on the SC premises after Zohr prayers.
He was buried at Banani graveyard around 3:45pm, Barrister Mustafizur Rahman Khan, a relative of the deceased, told The Daily Star.
Born in Jessore in 1936, Latifur studied English literature at Dhaka University and later completed his LLB in Law from the same university.
He got the membership at the Dhaka High Court in 1960 to start his career as a lawyer. He took oath as a permanent HC judge in 1981 and became an Appellate Division judge on January 15, 1990.
Latifur became the chief justice on January 1, 2000 and retired from his post on February 28, 2001. He took oath as the chief of the caretaker government on July 15, 2001 and carried out duties till October 10 of the same year.
The 8th parliamentary election was held on Oct 1, 2001 under the caretaker government led by him. The BNP-led four-party alliance came to power through that election.
Judges of the HC and SC, former chief justices Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury, KM Hasan, Syed JR Mudassir Husain and Md Muzammel Hossain, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, former SC judges Amirul Kabir Chowdhury, Md Joynul Abedin and Shamsul Huda, Bangladesh Bar Council Vice Chairman Abdul Baset Majumder, Supreme Court Bar Association President Zainul Abedin, Secretary Mahbub Uddin Khokon, former Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, ex-BNP law minister Moudud Ahmed, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, former caretaker government advisers Moinul Hosein and AF Hasan Ariff, former SCBA presidents Khandker Mahbub Hossain and AFM Mesbahuddin, SC lawyers, officials and staff attended the namaz-e-janaza of Justice Latifur. Chief Justice Sinha was present and paid tributes to the late former CJ.
Talking to reporters, the chief justice, Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury and Justice KM Hasan said Justice Latifur as a very competent judge had delivered many landmark verdicts which are followed in the judicial proceedings.
Meanwhile, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia expressed condolences on the former CJ's death and said his demise was an irreparable loss for the nation.
In a condolence message, the former prime minister said Justice Latifur worked relentlessly to ensure rule of law and to enhance the image and dignity of the judiciary.
Khaleda said his neutrality and administrative efficiency as the chief adviser to the caretaker government was incomparable. She prayed for the salvation of the departed soul and expressed sympathy to the bereaved family.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the nation lost a guardian with his death at a time when the country is going through a “bad time”.
Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust expressed deep shock at the former CJ's death.