Hearing on right to bail adjourned by a week
The High Court (HC) yesterday adjourned for a week the hearing on the writ petition challenging the legality of a number of provisions that deny people's right to bail. The provisions apply to people arrested in cases filed under Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2007 and Emergency Power Rules, 2007.
Following a government time prayer, the HC bench comprising Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Farid Ahmed fixed June 15 for hearing on the petition.
Counsel for the petitioners barrister M Amir-Ul Islam yesterday told the court that the constitutional balance has been damaged due to some of the rules of Emergency Power Rules, 2007 that curtail citizens' right to pray for bail and the HC's power to grant bail, which are enshrined in the constitution.
He also said a number of provisions in Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2007, providing death penalty and life-term imprisonment with fine for violating these provisions and also any rules with retrospective effect, are against the fundamental structure of the country's constitution.
Barrister Amir prayed to the HC for issuing a rule upon the government to explain why those provisions and rules should not be declared ultra vires and legally ineffective.
The court wished to hear the submissions of the attorney general on behalf of the government.
Assistant Attorney General Abdus Samad Kamal representing the state told the court that Attorney General Fida M Kamal was abroad and he would return at the end of this week.
He prayed to the court for time.
Former adviser to a caretaker government and Ain o Salish Kendra Executive Director Sultana Kamal, Daily New Age Editor Nurul Kabir and Assistant Professor of Dhaka University Sheikh Hafizur Rahman Karzon on June 5 jointly filed the writ petition as public interest litigation challenging the legality of sections 3(3)(Kha) and 3(4) of the Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2007, and rules 11(3), 19(Gha), 19(Uma) of the Emergency Power Rules, 2007.
The sections of the Emergency Powers Ordinance, 2007 provide death penalty and life-term imprisonment with fine for violating them and also any other rules with retrospective effect.
As per rule 11(3) of the Emergency Power Rules, 2007, if any court convicts a person for committing corruption, no other court can grant bail to the convict or stay the conviction order until an appeal, if the accused chooses to file, is disposed of.
The two other rules do not allow an accused to pray for bail or any kind of redress with the court or tribunal during the investigation or enquiry of the offence.