Coming down heavily on the chief justice for comparing Bangladesh with Pakistan, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said she is not scared at all with such a threat and this is not tolerable either.
"This is very much disgraceful that Bangladesh has been compared with Pakistan, this is not tolerable at all," she said.
The prime minister was speaking at a rally after placing wreaths at a makeshift memorial of the martyrs of the gruesome grenade attack on August 21, 2004 on Bangabandhu Avenue at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh (KIB).
She said, "We can tolerate anything, but not comparing [Bangladesh] with Pakistan? This is not tolerable at all."
"Why Bangladesh will be compared with Pakistan? Why comparison will be done with Pakistani prime minister. And there'll be no use by giving me such a threat," she said without mentioning the chief justice's name.
While hearing the Masdar Hossain case, the chief justice yesterday said the judiciary is having enough patience. Referring to the removal of Pakistan's Prime Minister (Nawaz Sharif) by the Supreme Court, the chief justice said, "Pakistan Supreme Court has...the prime minister. We have been patient, we are having patience. We're only saying we need to be more mature."
The prime minister said this cannot be accepted that a court of Pakistan removed their Prime Minister through a verdict and that will be used as a threat in Bangladesh.
She said people are the strongest power in Bangladesh and people's power has been established in the sacred Constitution saying 'People are the source of all power'.
"People's court is the biggest court; no one can ignore people's court... I'm lodging my complaint with this court... I want justice from the court of people," Sheikh Hasina said, adding that there are some sudden statements, political talks and threats coming from the higher court.
Citing the Supreme Court observations that 'MPs are criminals' and there are 'businessmen' in Parliament, the prime minister said, "Doing business isn't a sin. What's the problem if any businessman becomes an MP?"
Questioning various statements undermining parliament, she said, "We've taken the country to the path of a democratic system in a long process of struggle, movement and blood."
Mentioning that the president, as per the Constitution, appoints the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice, Hasina said the chief justice is trying to snatch the president's power. "Being appointed by the president, how can he take away the constitutional power from the president?"
About the Supreme Judicial Council, she said the chief justice chose the system introduced by Ziaur Rahman who illegally grabbed power. "The higher court declared the Zia regime illegal," she said.
The prime minister criticised SK Sinha for blocking the Anti-Corruption Commission's probe against Justice Joynal Abedin who gave a false and untrue report as ordered by the BNP government on the August 21 grenade attack on the AL rally. "When the ACC sought an inquiry, the chief justice gave a letter stating that this probe can't go ahead. How could he say that being the chief justice? Saving a corrupt person and pampering him aren't the task of the chief justice. This is sheer negligence to the Constitution."
About the much-talked-about 16th amendment to the Constitution, Hasina said she has doubt whether other judges of the Appellate Division had the scope of freely giving their opinions. "The chief justice might have not given them that scope," she said, adding that many things can be understood after reading the verdict.
She said there are many irreverent issues in the verdict. "Those should be placed before the nation because those mislead the nation. With this, no one can get justice."
Talking about the SC observations on the female MPs of reserve seats, the Prime Minister said the chief justice might have forgotten the process of this appointment. "He was appointed by the president who is elected by the MPs. He should have resigned from his post before making any comment on the election process of the women MPs or after giving the verdict."
Mentioning that there are many contradictions in the verdict, she said, "I'm reading it and taking note. I'll speak about these in Parliament."
Hasina said the government has given the organisational shape to every institution of the country and has taken steps so that these institutions could move independently. "Independence is good but there's a proverb 'independence is not for boy'. We never expect childish attitude," she said.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and AL general secretary Obaidul Quader also spoke on the occasion.
Workers' Party chief and Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, chairman of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, Jasod president and Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu, Samyabadi Dal general secretary Dilip Barua, Jasod leader Mainuddin Khan Badal and eminent novelist Imdadul Huq Milon, among others, took part in the discussion.
Earlier, the prime minister placed wreaths at a makeshift memorial of martyrs of the gruesome grenade attack on August 21, 2004. The memorial was set up by Awami League in front of the KIB.
She first placed a wreath at the memorial as the prime minister and then another, flanked by leaders of Awami League, as the party president.
Cabinet members, PM's advisors, senior leaders of Awami League and 14-party combine and family members of the martyrs and those injured in the incident were present.
After the programme, Sheikh Hasina met the relatives of the victims of the grenade attack.
Twenty-four leaders and workers of AL and its associate bodies, including the then Mohila AL president Ivy Rahman, wife of late President Zillur Rahman, were killed and over 500 others suffered splinter injuries in the attack and many of them became crippled for life.
Though Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attack, she had lost her hearing ability due to the impact of the repeated grenade blasts near the truck-dais of the huge public rally.