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August 10, 2003 

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  Govt. asked to comply with HC ruling

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has directed the government to comply with the High Court Division directive that bars detention of anyone arrested on suspicion. The Appellate Division gave this direction while the government had sought permission to appeal against the High Court verdict of 11 May 2003. The verdict directed the government to amend CrPC's sections 54 dealing with arrest on suspicion and 167 dealing with remand within six months as it observed that these sections were inconsistent with fundamental rights. The government attorney argued that the process of remand as embedded in the sections concerned are not inconsistent with the fundamental rights and so there is no need to amend the laws as there are provision to check misuse of the sections. He also argued that according to the Constitution, the High Court Division cannot not direct the government to amend or introduce any law. However, the court allowed the government to appeal against the verdict though it did not allow government's appeal seeking stay of the directives. -Janakantha, 3 August.

DCC commissioner sentenced

The Speedy Trial Tribunal-3, Dhaka Division sentenced Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) commissioner of ward 57, Khwaja Habubullah alias Habib and two others, to 27 years rigorous imprisonment as the three were found guilty of illegally possessing firearms and ammunition. It was alleged that during the 'Operation Clean Heart' on 30th November 2002, the joint forces arrested them from Irqi Maath at New Paltan of Lalbagh area and recovered four pistols, one revolver and 156 rounds of ammunition from their possession and filed the arms case with the Lalbagh Police station. -Bhorer Kagoj, 3 August.

Rule issued over Bogra ammo haul

The High Court Division has issued rule upon the government to show cause why it should not be directed to convene an inquiry on arms haul in Bogra last month. The rule came following a writ where it is submitted that about one lakh rifle bullets and 200 kg explosives were recovered from different places in Kahalu and Dupachia of Bogra; the matter involves not only a cognizable offence but also the question of security of the country as well as accountability and transparency of the govt. agencies. But the government has kept the people in dark on such a matter of vital importance which people have right to know. - Bangladesh Observer, 3 August.

Formation of Gram Sarkar commenced

Despite a rule nisi issued by the High Court challenging legality of the Gram Sarkar Act, the formation of gram sarkar has started. The President assented to the Act on 27 February after its passage in the Jatiya Sansad. However, this is not the first introduction of such type. The gram Sarkar Act was passed in the light of abolished Swanirvar Gram Sarkar Provision of 1980, the Gram Parishad Act of 1997 and the recommendation of a Local Government Commission formed on 1992. However, on 6 July a writ petition was filed challenging the legality of the Gram Sarkar Act, 2003 upon which the High Court Division asked the govt to explain why the Act should not be declared illegal and beyond the Constitution. The Government's contention is that the court has only issued rule asking explanation, it has not stayed the installation of the Gram Sarkar, and, therefore, there prevails no legal bar to its implementation. -Law Desk, 3 August.

Chargesheet in Frigate purchase Case

After a yearlong investigation, the Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAC) has submitted the chargesheet in the Frigate purchase case. The chargesheet included former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, former chief of staff of Bangladesh Navy Real Admiral (retd) Nurul Islam, former chief of staff (operation) of Bangladesh Navy Commodore (retd) AKM Azad, Former director (Naval Plan) Commodore (retd) Haroon-or-Rashid, Chairman of the Trans World Engineering and traiding Company Limited Abdul Awal Mintu and Commodore (retd) M Shahabuddin. The case was filed with the Tejgaon Police station on August 7 last year accusing the six for misappropriation of public money and misuse of power in purchasing the DW 2000H Frigate. It was alleged that the purchase made the public exchequer count Tk 511.17 crore in losses. The chargesheet was submitted to the court under Section 409/418/109 of the Penal Code and section 5(2) of the Anti-Corruption Act of 1974. - Prothom Alo, 4 August.

Govt. asked to place IR on launch disasters

A High Court Division bench has directed the government to submit inquiry reports (IR) and recommendations made by the committees constituted following the launch disasters. It also warned that it would not extend time in this regard. The court said that none of the inquiry reports were made public, but the people have the right to know the findings of the inquiry and recommendation to prevent the disasters. The government's lawyer after giving details of measures taken by the government for safety and security of launch passengers submitted that in view of government measures no direction was necessary. But the court pressed that there should be transparency in the government machinery and directed for submission of inquiry reports. -News Today, 4 August.

Corruption case against RAJUK officials

The Bureau of Anti-Corruption filed 12 cases with Kotoali thana against 10 government officials on charge of siphoning off about Tk 5.58 crore from Uttara town extension Project under RAJUK . These officials by abusing their powers, fraudulently and giving false and wrong information had granted the false landowners taka 6,30,91,512.72 instead of taka 73,08,845.90. The cases were filed against them for providing opportunity to misappropriate which is punishable under Penal Code. -Daily Arthaneeti, 5 August.

1795 cases in 18 months by BAC

From January 2002 to June 2003 , Bureau of Anti-Corruption (BAC) has filed 1765 cases of which 1042 cases has been chargesheeted, 938 cases has been disposed of through trial in the courts, 438 accused have been punished and 500 accused have been acquitted. The numbers of allegation disposed of are 6226 and the allegations enlisted are 4499 while 17092 allegation are under investigation. - Inqilab, 5 August.

Advocacy for amendment of labour law

Speakers at a workshop stressed the need for amendment to the labour laws to introduce updated and practical labour laws. The four-day workshop titled 'Workplace Development Plan' was held at Chittagong regional office of Bangladesh Garments Manufactures and Export Association (BGMEA) under a BGMEA-ILO- GOB partnership Project. At the certificate giving ceremony on the concluding day, the speakers also called for proper implementation of compliance in the garments sector through work place development plans. ILO Chief Technical advisor Senji Lee was the chief guest at the seminar. - The Daily Star, 6 August.

Hearing of Mig 29 case started

Hearing of the sensational Mig 29 case started in the International Court of Arbitration in Paris. Barrister Rafiqul Haque represented Bangladesh. It may be mentioned that in 1999 Awami League government purchased eight Mig 29 fighter plane from Russian Aircraft Corporation (RAC) paying half of the price. According to the contract rest of the amount was to be paid in instalment within 2006. So far two installations are arrears. And for this the RAC has gone to International Court of Arbitration. The Government claimed that the purchase made a great loss of Bangladesh and as such it has decided to contest in the case. -Jugantor, 6 July.

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