Why contempt of court law not unconstitutional
The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a suo moto rule upon the government, asking it to explain within one week why the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2008 should not be declared unconstitutional.
The HC bench of Justice ABM Khairul Haque and Justice Md Abu Tariq issued the rule during the hearing on a contempt of court rule against 18 journalists of the weekly Shirsho Kagoj.
The court also fixed July 13 for hearing of the rules.
Following petitions from 14 journalists of the weekly including Editor Ekramul Haq, the HC on June 11 exempted them from personally appearing before the court.
The court also appointed five legal experts as amicus curiae (friend of the court) for legal interpretations in the case.
The amicus curiae are advocate Mahmudul Islam, barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, barrister Rafique-ul Huq, barrister Ajmalul Hossain and Dr Shahdeen Malik.
Advocate Mahmudul Islam recently told the court that the caretaker government promulgated the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2008 beyond its jurisdiction, so it was unconstitutional.
Following his submission, the court yesterday issued the rule asking the secretary to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs to reply to the rule.
On January 7, the weekly Shirsho Kagoj published a news item headlined "A High Court judge whitens black money".
On January 10, an HC bench issued a suo moto contempt of court rule against 18 journalists of the weekly including Editor Ekramul Huq and the reporter concerned, Nasrin Akhter, asking them to appear in person before the court during the hearing on the rule.
Advocate Manzill Murshid and advocate Shafiuddin Bhuiyan moved for the contemnors.