Obaidul Quader meets chief justice
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader met Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha last night, AL sources said.
Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, went to the CJ's official residence on the city's Hare Road around 8:30pm and then to the Gono Bhaban, official residence of the prime minister, said the sources.
What was discussed at the meeting could not be known immediately.
The meeting came at a time when several ministers and ruling party leaders have been criticising the Supreme Court verdict that scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution. Food Minister Qamrul Islam, a senior AL leader, has even demanded removal of the CJ.
Earlier in the day, Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad announced a three-day protest programme against what it said were unexpected, irrelevant and unconstitutional observations made by the chief justice in the 16th amendment case verdict.
Members of the pro-Awami League lawyers' platform will form human chains and hold meetings on the premises of bars across the country today, Wednesday and Thursday.
On Friday, Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, a pro-BNP lawyers' platform, announced protest programmes at all bars for the same days, demanding resignation and arrest of Law Commission Chairman ABM Khairul Haque for his comments on the verdict.
Speaking at a press conference on August 9, Justice Khairul had strongly criticised the Supreme Court verdict, terming it misconceived, irrelevant and immature.
Passed in 2014, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution had restored parliament's powers to remove SC judges for misconduct or incapacity.
Last year, the High Court declared the amendment “illegal” and the decision was upheld by the SC on July 3 this year. The apex court released the full verdict on Aug 1.
Since then, the ruling AL has been criticising and the BNP has been welcoming observations in the verdict.
Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad announced its programmes at a press conference at the AL president's Dhanmondi office yesterday.
Speaking there, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, member-secretary of the lawyers' forum, said the chief justice's observations were “unexpected, irrelevant and unconstitutional” and claimed those would not be acceptable to anyone.
He also urged the apex court to expunge parts of the observations.
"A certain quarter is trying to create controversy over the judiciary after the release of the verdict," Taposh said, claiming that the observations might create a passage for the unconstitutional forces to come to power.
"The chief justice undermined parliament. Undermining parliament is equivalent to undermining democracy as well as the people," he added.
Bangladesh Bar Council Vice Chairman Abdul Baset Majumder, the forum's Convener Yousuf Hossain Humayun, Food Minister Qamrul Islam and Awami League's Law Affairs Secretary SM Rezaul Karim, among others, were present.
QUADER SLAMS BNP
Yesterday, Obaidul Quader alleged that a vested quarter was hatching a plot over the verdict to halt the country's peace and progress.
He slammed BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and its Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed, saying they have become “over enthusiastic as if the court would put them in state power”.
“They [BNP] have engaged in hatching a new conspiracy as part of their politics of vengeance to halt the country's development and progress. We will not allow them to realise their dream,” said Quader.
He was addressing a rally at the Central Shaheed Minar. Dhaka north and south unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League jointly organised the programme to mark the National Mourning Day on August 15.
Quader said Moudud had termed the judiciary “biased” when he lost his Gulshan home in a legal battle.
“But soon after the court verdict over the 16th amendment, this very man has claimed that the judiciary is independent.”
Meanwhile, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the Supreme Court, as “the protector of the constitution”, has come up with a “historic verdict” in the 16th amendment case.
He also said the government lost its “moral legality” to stay in office by disregarding the verdict.
The BNP leader was speaking at a “doa mahfil” at the party's Nayapaltan central office. The programme was organised to pray for the well-being of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who has recently underwent a successful eye surgery at a London hospital.
“When the state is at stake, the Supreme Court has delivered the verdict from its sense of duty,” Fakhrul said.
In response to a statement of Quader that the BNP was doing politics over the 16th amendment verdict, Fakhrul said, ”Before teaching BNP morality, you [Quader] should resign because of the current [poor] state of the country's roads and highways.”