Heated debate over Hasina's 2 petitions to quash cases | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 02, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 02, 2008

Heated debate over Hasina's 2 petitions to quash cases

Attorney General barrister Fida M Kamal and former prime minister Sheikh Hasina's counsel barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday locked in a heated argument before a High Court (HC) bench over the jurisdiction of the bench for hearing two petitions filed by Hasina to quash the barge mounted power plant case and the Niko corruption case against her.
Barrister Shafique Ahmed accused the Attorney General of professional misconduct during the row.
The HC bench of Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Mashuque Hosain Ahmed fixed Wednesday (today) for hearing the matters.
Attorney General Fida M Kamal told the HC bench that the bench did not have the jurisdiction over hearing the petitions to quash the cases since the bench was assigned to hear other matters including writs.
Objecting to the submission made by the Attorney General, Hasina's counsels including barrister Shafique Ahmed told the court that the Attorney General could not make such submissions dictating the court.
"In my long legal professional career, I haven't heard such a submission by any lawyer dictating the High Court. This court earlier heard the petitions and fixed a date for further hearing. So, this court has the jurisdiction to hear the matters," barrister Shafique said.
The Attorney General asked barrister Shafique Ahmed whether he (Shafique) has assumed the responsibility of the court.
"Since the High Court called for records of the two corruption cases against Sheikh Hasina, the trial proceedings of the cases have been halted in trial courts. For the reconstitution of the High Court benches, this bench has no power to hear the quashment petitions. The court cannot call for the records of the cases before issuing any rule. The court has not issued any rule in the matters," he said.
The HC bench said the wisdom of any person is not determined with his or her age or ranking status. "We have taken the matters in our consideration for hearing with our wisdom. …Asking for the records of the cases by the High Court is nothing new."
Following two quashment petitions filed by Sheikh Hasina, the High Court bench of Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Mashuque Hossain Ahmed earlier in June this year called for the records and documents of the cases against Hasina.

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