Saturday, 14 May 2011

Supersession of judges fraught with danger of uncertainty: Experts

Mohammad Ali 

Appointment of Chief Justice of Bangladesh superseding the senior justices twice in recent times is likely to touch off a chaotic situation further pushing the country into a state of uncertainty, according to people of different shades. 

They were of the view that the politicians irrespective of their party affiliations and the parliament must have to demonstrate sagacity and play constructive role to ward off the country's slide toward political turmoil and chaos.

With the latest supersession, sitting Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, who is set to go on retirement on May 17, will be the last retired CJ when the present Mohajote-government will quit power in 2014 on the completion of its five-year term.

As a result, he will be the first eligible person for post of the Chief Advisor (CA) of the next caretaker government (CG) if the CG system is retained. But the main opposition BNP has already voiced its strong opposition to the appointment ABM Khairul Haque as chief adviser to the care taker government terming him controversial.

The country will surely plunge into chaos and uncertainty if the two major political parties, Awami League and BNP, fail to arrive at a consensus on burning political issues, according to them.

Veteran lawyer Barrister Rafiq-ul Haque told The New Nation yesterday that the politicians have to play main role in overcoming the uneasy situation on the political front. Let us hope and believe that they will be successful in overcoming the trying situation, he said.

Earlier, Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque himself during his judgment on the 13th amendment to the constitution said the chief Justices or the judges of the Appellate Division should not be made the head of the caretaker government, he said. "Having passed such opinion, can he (Khairul Haque) agree to become chief adviser of a caretaker government throwing away his self-dignity?" he asked.

Barrister Rafiq pointed out that in the Appellate Division's judgment on 13th amendment to the constitution, the court pleaded for excluding the judges from the CG system. Now, lets we see what the Parliament does. It should work in line with the verdict, he added.

Political analyst Prof Talukder Moniruzzaman told The New Nation, "The country is gradually heading for a political clash." "It is political problem. So, it should not be taken in court, rather be solved politically," he observed.

Stating that the general election is still over two years away, prof.Moniruzzaman suggested discussions among the political parties to seek a solution. As a ruling party, Awami League has to take initiative to this effect," he added.

In September last year, Justice ABM Khairul Haque was appointed CJ, superseding two senior judges triggering sharp reaction from the pro-BNP lawyers. On Wednesday, Justice Md Muzammel Hossain was appointed CJ, who is due to retire in 2015, superseding Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman who was to retire in December this year.

Accordingly, Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque as the last retired CJ is likely to become chief adviser of the next CG at the end of the five- year term of the present AL-led Mohajote government in 2014. But BNP has already opposed him as the next CA. The pro-BNP lawyers have also launched movement in the Supreme Court in protest against the supersession.

A chaotic situation flared up across the country preceding the 1/11 event in 2007. Turmoil engulfed the country when the then opposition AL flatly refused to accept the last retired CJ KM Hasan as CA. It was alleged that the last BNP-led four-party alliance government amended the constitution, intentionally raising judges' retirement age from 65 to 67 to make him CA. Thereafter, dialogue between representatives of the two major political parties failed to find any solution which finally invited the 1/11 event.
New Nation 

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