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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: 113
April 4, 2009

This week's issue:
Reviewing the views
Law review
Law interview
Rights investigation
Law lexicon
Law Ammusement
Law Week

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Law week

Khaleda's cantonment house allocated flouting rules
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the 6 Shaheed Mainul Road house in Dhaka Cantonment was allocated to Khaleda Zia violating the Cantonment Board's rules and her cabinet would decide about cancellation of the allocation.

"She [Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia] should not keep the house ignoring the law. She should leave the house willingly," Hasina, also leader of the House, said in parliament.

The premier said if Khaleda returns the house the government would construct apartment buildings on that 2.72-acre land and allocate two apartments for each of the families of army officers, who were brutally killed in the BDR carnage. -The Daily Star, April 02, 2009

Fire safety laws enough, enforcement missing
Slack enforcement of existing laws and lack of public awareness make any multi-storied building vulnerable to fires, rendering life and property unsafe, said experts at a roundtable on "Fire Safety in Our Buildings".

Noted architects, structural engineers and high-ranking government officials took part in the discussion jointly organised by the Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB) and The Daily Star at the latter's conference room.

"There are adequate laws and code on fire prevention and safety measures," said Chief Architect of public works ministry's architecture department ASM Ismail, adding, "What we lack is implementation." -The Daily Star, April 01, 2009

Aug 21 grenade attack probe 'doctored'
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed a case against three of its former investigators in connection with intentionally misdirecting the probe into the August 21 grenade attack case.

They are also accused of destroying evidence and forcing people into making confessional statements. All three investigated the case during the BNP-led four-party alliance government's tenure.

CID's Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fazlul Kabir, the present investigation officer of the grenade attack case, filed the case Sunday night with Paltan Police Station against retired special superintendent (SS) of CID and former supervisor of the case Ruhul Amin and two retired ASPs Abdur Rashid and Munshi Atiqur Rahman, former investigation officers of the case. -The Daily Star, March 31, 2009.

Public procurement law to be amended
The government is going to bring fresh amendments to the Public Procurement Act, which was made to bring transparency in government expenditure under donors' pressure.

"Public Procurement Regulation (Now Public Procurement Act) is an impediment to implementation of government's development programmes including those in power sector... So, it would be revised," Finance Minister AMA Muhith said at a pre-budget discussion with Economic Reporters' Forum (ERF).

Muhith also said he approved a Tk 243-crore 'arrear' cash incentive in export sector as part of the bailout package to face the impact of global recession. -The Daily Star, March 31, 2009.

Banned Kuwait-based NGO runs covertly
The Bangladesh chapter of Kuwait-based NGO Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) is still running its offices and covert activities although its registration was cancelled nearly two years ago.

The NGO spends at least Tk 2 lakh a month, said a few contractors who worked for RIHS. But the source of this money remains mysterious because foreign funding of RIHS was stopped and its bank accounts closed following the cancellation of registration, they said. -The Daily Star, March 31, 2009.

RTI bill passed
The House passed the much-awaited bill to continue people's right to information, incorporating a parliamentary body's recommendation to limit a few organisations' absolute authority to refuse to divulge information.

As per the provisions of the bill, all organisations registered under the law of the land will be bound to provide citizens with information on matters of public interests.

Organisations that enjoy legal coverage to keep some information undisclosed will have to take permission of the information commission to deny information sought, the parliamentary standing committee on information ministry recommended in its scrutiny report on the bill. -The Daily Star, March 30, 2009.

Bill on CrPC to be examined further
The government has decided to further scrutinise the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (Amendment) Bill 2009 empowering the executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.

Talking to reporters after a meeting with police top brass led by Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad, the minister said they would take seven more days to scrutinise the bill to avoid any conflict of power between the metropolitan police and the executive magistrates.

The police delegation told the minister at the meeting that the power the metropolitan police are exercising for long 33 years should not be curtailed through the bill. The law minister said the police officers apprehend the CrPC amendment, if passed, will pave the way for conflicts between the executive magistrates and the metropolitan police. -The Daily Star, March 30, 2009.

Equal edn, health rights for children
Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina said her government would revamp the Children Act 1974 suiting the situation of the day to ensure equal facilities for children of all strata of society.

"The Children Act 1974 will be amended to keep pace with the time. Children from capital Dhaka to a remote village will get equal facilities of education and health services," PM said.

The premier unveiled her grand alliance government' s egalitarian policy about the rights of the children while addressing the prize giving ceremony of a national cultural competition at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Center in the afternoon. -The Daily Star, March 29, 2009.

Sangsad to seal govt's judicial power
Parliament is scheduled to pass the much-talked about bill designed to continue separation of the judiciary.

Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star that unless the House decides otherwise, the new law will have a provision allowing the government to empower the executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences.

The parliamentary standing committee on the law ministry recommended the provision in its scrutiny report on the bill.

Meanwhile, Parliament Secretariat officials said another crucial bill, Right to Information Act-2009, too has been included in the orders of the day for the House, which returns from a 10-day recess. -The Daily Star, March 29, 2009.

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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