Judiciary’s arm can’t reach parliament: AL

Mohammad Nasim
Mohammad Nasim 

Ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) presidium member Mohammed Nasim on Tuesday said the reach of the judiciary has not gone so far that it can touch the legislature.

“No matter how powerful the judiciary is, the reach of the court has not gone so far that it can touch parliament,” he said at a programme in Dhaka, apparently in reaction to the Supreme Court verdict that scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution.

The AL’s Dhaka south city unit organised the programme at Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh, marking the birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s wife Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib.

The AL-led 10th parliament on 17 September 2014 unanimously passed the Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Bill restoring its power to remove Supreme Court judges on the grounds of misconduct or incapacity, scrapping the existing constitutional provisions for the Supreme Judicial Council inquiry into such allegations.

But, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on 3 July this year scrapped the 16th amendment and restored the Supreme Judicial Council, to utter dismay of the ruling AL.

However, the country’s main opposition political party – Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – has hailed the court verdict.

“I don’t want to speak about any verdict. I don’t want to say anything that will show disrespect to anyone. With due respect, I want to say that parliament belongs to the people. This parliament is of 16 crore (160 million)people. None but the people preserve the right to interfere in this parliament,” Nasim, also the health and family welfare minister, said loudly.

He went on to say, “This parliament appoints prime minister and president. And the president recruits chief justice and other judges. So, none can humiliate this parliament. None but the people have that reach which can touch parliament.”

The AL leader said conspiracy is hatched whenever there is success. “Bangabandhu was killed when he became successful. Bangladesh is going forward under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. And the conspiracy is being hatched right at this moment.”

Addressing the BNP, the AL presidium member said, “Don’t hatch conspiracy. I will tell my friends in the BNP, conspiracy will come to a naught.”

Speaking on the occasion, AL joint general secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said the 16th amendment verdict corroborated the fact that the judiciary is “completely independent”.

Apparently criticising the BNP for its position on the verdict, he said they speak of people’s right to vote, parliament, and speak of parliamentary democracy whereas they become happy and delighted when the power of that very parliament is scrapped.

“This is the type of politics of the BNP and its allies do.”

Source: Prothom Alo

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