Mahmudul Islam: A banyan tree of wisdom | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 23, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 23, 2016

Law Tribute

Mahmudul Islam: A banyan tree of wisdom

Mahmudul Islam, not only a famous lawyer but also an eminent personality in our judiciary who passed away at the age of 79 on 16 February. His death brings irreparable loss to the nation as he was among the most talented constitutional jurist in the country. His book titled the Constitutional Law of Bangladesh is the most cited constitutional law book among others. As a legendary senior advocate, his role was vibrant. As an interpreter of law, his every word was a pearl of wisdom in the horizon of legal arena. Lifelong he fought for ensuring justice and rights of the citizen under the constitution and other legal frameworks.

Mr. Islam made himself illustrious to others by his elite techniques of submission to the court. His unpretentious capitulations of wisdom attracted the judges towards his elucidation. The entire judiciary was benefited by his rare scholarly flair. His sober attitude to address the court was conspicuous; a man of graciousness and always tolerant of different points of view.

Mahmudul Islam was treated as torch-bearer in any treacherous situation in our judiciary and he handled the circumstance with his extraordinary brilliance. He led the nation in various critical periods like caretaker government into the right course to the future and he became the voice of the nation.

Apart from this contribution to the court, Mr. Islam contributed greatly to our legal studies. This top legal brain's most celebrated work i.e. the Constitutional Law of Bangladesh becomes an authority on Bangladesh constitution. His thinking on constitutional affair was very blunt and he articulated his intelligence in an outspoken manner.

Moreover, he introduced another branch of his acumen on civil procedure code along with the aid of Probir Neogi. Two volumes book on the Law of Civil Procedure is another treasured creation of Mahmudul Islam. This book is also referred as authoritative guideline for both subordinate and supreme judiciary. Mr. Islam's book on Interpretation of Statutes and Documents was latest addition of his scholarly contribution to our legal education. This learned personality focused on our own style of interpretation. His sentences are lively and citations are practical to understand.In many occasions the Supreme Court had sought his opinion as amicus curiae in several significant cases like that of Quader Mollah, 5 January election, BDR mutiny, 13th amendment, 7th amendment etc.

Mahmudul Islam was born in Rangpur in 1936. His father Azizul Islam was also a prominent lawyer in Rangpur. He passed his higher secondary level from Rangpur Carmichael College while he achieved his law degree from Dhaka University after completing honours and masters on political science from the same university. After the independence of Bangladesh, he received his LLM degree from Indiana University in the US. He started his career at Rangpur District Bar, later on he started practice in the High Court Division. He worked as a junior with lawyer Birendra Nath Chowdhury and then with Syed Ishtiak Ahmed. Mahmudul Islam became assistant attorney general in 1972. Then he served as the state's top legal officer from 1998 to 2001.

This renowned figure passed away bodily but his enthusiastic legacy will encourage the whole nation for years to come spiritually and ethically. Not only the judicial premises, but also the whole nation will be indebted to Mahmudul Islam for his wisdom and great contribution to the country.


The Writer Is An Assistant Professor Of Law At Dhaka International University.

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