Explain changes in CrPC rules
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within three weeks why the amended rules of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowering the executive magistrates to perform judicial functions should not be declared illegal.
The HC bench of Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed and Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), a human rights organisation.
Earlier in the day, a Supreme Court (SC) lawyer and also the president of HRPB, advocate Manzill Murshid filed the petition as a public interest litigation seeking a directive upon the government to cancel the amended rules of CrPC.
The gazette notification on the amended CrPC was issued on April 8 this year.
During the hearing, Manzill Murshid told the court that the amended CrPC rules, which empowered the executive magistrates to discharge judicial functions, are against the provisions of the constitution and the principles of the SC judgement in Masdar Hossain case, popularly known as Judiciary Separation Case.
He argued that the executive magistrates were empowered to pass orders in the cases through the amendment of the CrPC, which only the judicial magistrates are entitled to do as per the provisions of the constitution and the SC directives in the judgment of Masdar Hossain case.
As per sections 145 to 147 of the CrPC, the executive magistrate decides issues of possession, grants ad interim injunction, appoints receiver, restores possessions and grants permanent injunction in the cases until the cases are settled by the courts of the judicial magistrate, he said, adding these were the judicial powers.
The secretaries to the cabinet division, the president's secretariat, the prime minister's office secretariat, the Jatiya Sangsad secretariat and the law ministry have been made respondents to the HC ruling.