The BNP yesterday blasted former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque for his comments on the 16th constitutional amendment verdict and Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
“Former chief justice and now Law Commission Chairman Justice Khairul Haque spat venom [at the verdict] even before the government or the Awami League gave any formal reaction…. The comments he made sitting in Law Commission on the verdict and the chief justice are not only indecent, but also tantamount to contempt of court,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He was addressing a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office in the capital.
Terming the verdict historic, Fakhrul said it seemed to be a “Magna Carta” given the context of the prevailing political and social conditions in the country.
Magna Carta is a charter of liberties signed under duress by King John of England in 1215 that influenced the development of many important modern legal and constitutional principles.
Justice Khairul on Wednesday termed the SC verdict “misconceived, irrelevant and immature”.
According to Fakhrul, there was no difference between the statements of Awami League leaders and Justice Khairul. “We strongly condemn Justice Khairul Haque's statement. Instead of repenting for his deeds, he gave statements in favour of injustice.”
The people were well and truly realising how much “damage” the verdicts of then chief justice Khairul Haque caused to Bangladesh's democracy, he said.
The BNP leader alleged that the annulments of the 5th, 7th and 13th constitutional amendments created constitutional and political crises in the country which made democracy fragile.
“Political tension, instability and frustration increased in the country after the delivery of verdicts by Justice Khairul. The government became desperate. Following a verdict, the caretaker government system was abolished. The Awami League took out the philosophy of a multiparty democracy and introduced almost a dictatorship. There is no functioning parliament in the country,” he added.
Fakhrul said truth was exposed with the delivery of the verdict. “The frustrated nation has seen a ray of hope through this judgment. That's why we welcomed the verdict and greeted the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.”
About the AL's reaction to the verdict, he said the party was frustrated and aggrieved. “They still are not realsing that the monster created by them is going to devour them.”
Speaking at the press conference, BNP Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed questioned the legality of Justice Khairul's press conference on Wednesday.
“He [Justice Khairul] is an official paid from the public exchequer. Holding of such a press conference by a government official is a complete violation of the government's code of conduct,” he said.
Moudud claimed that the purpose of the press conference exposed Justice Khairul's “political character”.
He also said while pronouncing the verdict on the 13th amendment to the constitution, Justice Khairul had said the next two general elections could be held under caretaker government.
But he released the full verdict after 16 months and did not write anything about the matter in it, alleged the BNP leader.
Moudud also said Law Minister Anisul Huq did not do the right thing by talking about the SC verdict.
“As the law minister, he should not have said this at all. It is the duty of the law minister to implement the verdicts of the courts of the country. He deviated from that duty for a political reason.”