Attorney General Fida Kamal quits | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 17, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 17, 2008

Attorney General Fida Kamal quits

Cites personal grounds as reason; sources tell of discords with govt


Attorney General (AG) Fida M Kamal yesterday resigned from his office in the wake of a series of disagreements with the government over a number of issues.
He cited "personal" grounds as the reason for his resignation, but a number of government sources confirmed that Fida has had "issues", including several "serious" ones, with the government over the last few months.
The recent of them was the AG office's lack of efforts in a case regarding the Muslim Marriage and Divorce (Registration) Amendment Ordinance 2008 which the High Court (HC) declared illegal and void on Sunday.
The HC also said during the caretaker government's rule the president cannot promulgate ordinances on issues not related to polls.
Sources at the AG office said following the verdict the government was angered with the AG office and members of different government agencies started gathering information about its role.
Government sources said none of the AG or the two additional attorney generals appeared at the hearing on the important case.
The AG office moved to the HC with its reply to the HC rule on Sunday but the court refused to receive it for being "too late", said the sources.
"Sunday's High Court verdict is one that can question most ordinances promulgated by the president during the caretaker government's tenure," said one source.
The president has so far promulgated more than 70 ordinances during this caretaker government's rule.
It was learnt that the AG office is processing an appeal petition for staying the HC verdict.
Fida M Kamal, who was appointed the attorney general in February last year, went to Law Adviser AF Hassan Ariff's office yesterday afternoon and came out around 8:15pm.
"I have tendered my resignation," he told reporters waiting there.
He went to his office around 8:30pm and talked with Additional Attorney General Salahuddin Ahmad and several other officials of the AG office.
Meantime, a meeting on the Attorney Service Ordinance scheduled for 4:30pm yesterday at the AG office was postponed due to Fida's absence.
Sources said the AG has been at loggerheads with the law ministry over the ordinance for over a month.
On Tuesday, the law ministry sent documents to the AG office on the Attorney Service including the AG office's organogram with provisions for five additional attorney generals, 95 deputy attorney generals and 95 assistant attorney generals.
"The attorney general's office was not happy with this ordinance thinking that it would establish the law ministry's control on law officers through a director general of the Government Attorney Department," said a source.
The government from now on wants the law officers to be recruited through the Public Service Commission in a bid to make them government servants, a law officer told The Daily Star seeking anonymity.
Currently, the government appoints law officers from among practising lawyers who have to acquire Bangladesh Bar Council certificate before starting practice.
"The moment the law officers become government servants, they will have to surrender their certificates to the Bar Council. It will keep them off from appearing for any client anymore," said the law officer.
The government did not consult the attorney general's office while making the new provision for Government Attorney Service, which has frustrated the attorney general's office, said several sources.
Many such issues regarding the attorney service have been in discussion among the law officers a few of whom have already resigned.
Talking on another reason for Fida M Kamal's resignation, a source said he requested the government for permission to visit some countries including the US and Scotland from July 6 to 28 but the government did not give the permission.
Fida had disagreements with the government on many other issues including several foreign tours and his role in different cases.

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