The Supreme Court wants to “take away” the president’s power over lower court judges described in the Constitution, Law Minister Anisul Huq has said.
The law minister recently submitted to the chief justice the final draft of the gazette, which has caused much tension between the executive and the judiciary.
But Justice Sinha rejected the draft on Sunday, objecting to some of its terms and regulations.
“Article 109 of the Constitution gives the High Court, not the Appellate Division, the authority to supervise all lower courts and tribunals,” Huq told a discussion on Monday.
The draft of the judges’ service rules was based on that, he said.
“The correction they (Supreme Court) had asked for … I have the document … was to take away the president’s power as described in Article 116. How can I do that?
“You give me a verdict … I can’t do that,” he told the gathering of the Bangabandhu Awami Lawyers’ Council.
Bangladesh Supreme Court
“I sent you a draft, and you (Supreme Court) corrected it. We have worked on it that much, but in the matter of the president’s authority in Article 116, we said we can’t do anything about that. And they sent it back.”Chief Justice Sinha sought the removal of Article 116 and the restoration of a relevant article from the 1972 Constitution, which he said would eliminate the ‘dual authority’ that exists because the Supreme Court did not have the power to transfer or promote lower court judges.
The article says —
116. The control (including the power of posting, promotion and grant of leave) and discipline of persons employed in the judicial service and magistrates exercising judicial functions shall vest in the President and shall be exercised by him in consultation with the Supreme Court.]
The law ministry is empowered to work under the article on behalf of the president. The chief justice blamed the article for sluggishness experienced in the judiciary.
Article 116 in the 1972 Constitution read –
The control (including the power of posting, promotion and grant of leave) and discipline of persons employed in the judicial service and magistrates exercising judicial functions shall vest in the Supreme Court.]
The ruling Awami League returned the four pillars of the 1972 Constitution through the 15th Amendment but retained the president’s authority over subordinate courts.