The newly appointed four judges of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court were sworn in on Wednesday morning.
Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque administered oath to them at the judges' lounge of the apex court. They are: Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah, Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Muhammad Imman Ali.
After the four most senior judges of the High Court Division were appointed by President Md Zillur Rahman on Tuesday, five other judges of the HC took leave from February 23 to 28, sources in the SC said.
The four HC judges are: Justice Muhammed Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed, Justice MA Hye, Justice Faruque Ahmed, Justice Md Shamsul Huda and Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury. They were not present in the oath-taking ceremony.
Almost all other judges of the Appellate Division and the High Court Division and a number of senior lawyers were present at the ceremony.
After the ceremony, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Khandker Mahbub Hossain on behalf of the bar and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam felicitated the newly appointed judges at the courtroom 1 of the SC.
The judges sought supports of the lawyers in disposing of the cases and upholding image of the apex court.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said not only seniority but also merit should be standard in appointing the judges. If only seniority is considered, then the meritorious judges would be dropped in appointing judges in the Appellate Division, he added.
There were examples of violating seniority in the process of appointments of judges in abroad also, AG said.
He said, "All the judges of the HC Division are not equally meritorious. A coordination between seniority and merit should have in this regard."
In a query later, he said that he had no question about merits of the newly appointed four judges." He also praised the judges' role played in the HC Division.
SCBA President Khandker Mahbub Hossain congratulated the newly appointed judges and said all them obtained this position through proving their qualities while they were in the High Court Division.
The four judges also separately spoke on the felicitation function. They pledged of conducting cases neutrally and independently.
Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah vowed of continuing to ensure justice. He said that he, if necessary, would go alone but will not take place against own oath in establishing justice.
Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana, who is the first woman judge in the Appellate Division in the history of Bangladesh, thanked the Almighty Allah. She later told journalists that she got acknowledgment of her work. Her role would help in empowering the women of the country, she added.
Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain said he was bound in playing the judicial duties shouldered on him.
Justice Muhammad Imman Ali pointing a chaos, earlier created in his bench during hearing of Khaleda Zia's cantonment house, he said that SCBA leader along with bar members challenged the bench and waited for coming media.
At that time he tried to uphold the image of the court, he added.
According to Article 95(1) of the Constitution, President Md Zillur Rahman on recommendations of the Chief Justice appointed them on Tuesday.
Following the appointments, the number of the judges in the Appellate Division stood at eight.
Other four judges of the Appellate Division are: Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman, Justice Mohammad Muzammel Hossain and Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha.
Justice Abdul Matin and Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman of the division went on leave when Khairul Haque was appointed CJ in September last year. In the meantime Abdul Matin retired.
Among the newly appointed judges, Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah was appointed additional judge to the High Court Division on October 24, 1999.
Justice Nazmun Ara Sultana was appointed additional judge to the HC Division on May 28, 2000 and was later appointed judge to the same division on May 28, 2002.
Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice Muhammad Imman Ali were appointed as additional judges to the HC Division on Feb 22, 2001 and were made permanent there on February 22, 2003.