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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 32
August 11, 2007

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Human Rights Monitor
Rights Corner
Law letter
Law analysis
Human Rights Advocacy
Law Week

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Law week

August 15 as national day of mourning:SC lawyer files writ
A Supreme Court lawyer and two other persons filed a writ petition with the High Court (HC) challenging a cabinet division order issued during the immediate past BNP-led alliance government's regime canceling August 15 as the National Day of Mourning and a public holiday. The petitioners also sought court directives reinstating the date as the National Day of Mourning and a public holiday. Advocate Mozammel Huq, a Supreme Court lawyer, filed the writ petition with an HC division bench, which is likely to hear the writ. Mentioning the great contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Liberation War of Bangladesh, the petitioners said Mujib was killed on August 15, 1975. In 1996 the erstwhile government introduced August 15 as the National Day of Mourning and declared the day a public holiday with the national flag flying half-mast to pay respect to the slain father of the nation. But the BNP-led alliance government in August 2002 canceled the earlier decision to observe August 15 as the National Day of Mourning and a public holiday through issuing a notification through the cabinet division. The petitioners filed the petition as a public interest litigation. -The Daily Star, August 7.

Bangabandhu case: SC rejects plea
On the first day of resumption of hearing of the Bangabandhu murder case after six years at the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC), counsels for the convicts pleaded for adjournment of the hearing for one month but the court overruled it. The counsels repeatedly tried to persuade the court to adjourn the hearing. But the three-member SC bench took a firm position that the case had waited long enough, and now there is no justification for not hearing the petitions by four condemned prisoners seeking leave to appeal against the High Court (HC) verdict. The HC had awarded death penalty to 12 former army personnel including the four on April 30, 2001. “We have sat not to deliver adjournment,” said Justice Joynul Abedin, who is on the SC bench headed by Justice Tafazzul Islam with Justice Hassan Ameen as the other member. The court sat to hear the leave to appeal petitions filed by four convictsLt Col (retd) Bazlul Huda, Lt Col (retd) Syed Faruk Rahman, Maj (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan and Lt Col (retd) Mohiuddin Ahmed. Another condemned prisoner, Maj (retd) AKM Mohiuddin, also filed an appeal through the jail authorities in June following his extradition from the US. -The Daily Star, August 8.

Faizee case: CU to appeal against HC verdict
Chittagong University (CU) Syndicate in an emergency meeting decided to appeal to the Supreme Court (SC) Appellate Division against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared the cancellation of the LLB certificate of Justice Faisal Mahmud Faizee illegal. The HC delivered the verdict on Monday stating that the CU's decision to cancel Faizee's LLB certificate in connection with his alleged tampering with the mark sheet was illegal. CU Vice-chancellor (VC) Prof M Badiul Alam presided over the syndicate meeting. Syndicate member Prof Helal Uddin Nizami said, “We hope to get justice at the Supreme Court.” He said, “We decided to cancel the LLB certificate of Justice Faizee based on three probe committee reports.” He said Prof Shamsuddin, Prof Abu Saleh and Prof MA Hakim headed the committees. -The Daily Star, August 8.

ACC files graft cases against 10 high govt officials
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) sued ten bureaucrats, including former Power Division secretary ANH Akhter Hossain, on graft charges. ACC Deputy Director Mahbubul Alam filed the case against the bureaucrats with Shahbagh Police Station under sections 409 and 109 of Bangladesh Penal Code and the Corruption Resistance Act 1974. The nine other accused in the case are joint secretary of the Power Division Mezbaul Islam, deputy secretary of the Employment Bureau Nazma Begum, deputy secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division Abdullah Masud, deputy secretaries of the Power Division Laila Jesmin and Ismat Ara Jahan, assistant secretary of the Ministry of Liberation War Ali Hossain, administrative officer of the Power Division Chanchal Krish Talukder, managing director of Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited and secretary of the same company HM Nurul Huda. Of the accused, ANH Akhter Hossain is now in jail while the rest have been transferred to different ministries as part of the administrative reshuffle. -Unb, Dhaka, August 9.

Hasina's appeals: HC adjourns hearings in all 3 graft cases till Aug 21
The High Court (HC) adjourned till August 21 hearing of three appeals by detained former prime minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina for quashing three graft cases against her in connection with the purchase of a frigate and eight MiG-29 fighter aircraft, and setting up Meghnaghat power plant. All the three appeals were on the case list for hearing by an HC bench. The court first took up for hearing Hasina's appeal for quashing the case concerning MiG-29 purchase. In a packed courtroom, hearing started in the morning and continued till lunch break. At this stage, Hasina's counsels sought more time to prepare for the cases. And the court adjourned hearing of all the three appeals till August 21. Later, one of Hasina's counsels Barrister Shafique Ahmed told reporters that they (counsels) read out the first information report (FIR) and charge sheet of the case regarding MiG-29s, and submitted those along other relevant papers to the court. Shafique said they pointed out to the court that some essential ingredients of law are absent in the FIR and charge sheet of the case. -The Daily Star, August 9.

Corresponding with the Law Desk
Please send your mails, queries, and opinions to: Law Desk, The Daily Star 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215; telephone 8124944,8124955,fax 8125155; email: dslawdesk@yahoo.co.uk,lawdesk@thedailystar.net


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