SC verdict on 16th amendment tomorrow
Supreme Court will deliver a verdict tomorrow on the appeal filed against the scrapping of the 16th amendment of the constitution, which empowered the parliament to impeach judges.
A seven-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha is scheduled to deliver the verdict. It has been enlisted as first item in the bench’s cause list.
Earlier on June 1, the apex court bench kept the appeal as CAV [Curia Advisari Vult, a Latin legal term that means verdict could be delivered any time] after hearing the matter over 11 days.
During hearings on the appeal, nine amici curiae (friends of court) including Dr Kamal Hossain and writ petitioners’ counsel Advocate Manzill Murshid placed arguments before the SC against the 16th amendment and one amicus curiae Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Additional Attorney General Murad Reza argued for the 16th amendment.
The parliament passed 16th amendment of the constitution in September 2014 empowering the House to impeach judges in case of incapacity or misbehaviour.
It repealed the provision of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) which was empowered to probe the allegation against the judges and to recommend for his or her removal.
The SJC is comprised of the chief justice and Appellate Division's two senior most judges.
The original constitution of 1972 had empowered parliament to remove SC judges.
But the fourth amendment brought to the constitution in January 1975 bestowed the authority on the president by abolishing the parliament's power.
During the first martial law regime, the then military ruler Gen Ziaur Rahman introduced the SJC in 1978 by amending the constitution through a martial law proclamation.
In 2010, the SC scrapped the fifth constitutional amendment that validated all activities of the first martial law regime. It, however, condoned the introduction of the SJC.
The then Awami League-led government retained the SJC and included the same provisions in the constitution through the 15th amendment in 2011.
But the AL changed its mind after returning to power through the one-sided January 5 parliamentary polls in 2014.
It moved to amend the constitution again and the House passed the 16th amendment to the constitution in September 2014.