16th Amendment Verdict: AG yet to have instruction | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

16th Amendment Verdict: AG yet to have instruction

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Dhaka – The Office of the Attorney General till Sunday did not receive any instruction from the government to lodge an appeal on the verdict of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that upheld the High Court verdict scrapping the 16th amendment of the Constitution.Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, after he returned from China on completion of his visit said this on Sunday at his office while responding to a question of a journalist. He said, ‘ Still now, no instruction was given me on behalf of the Government’.
Earlier on August 18, Law Minister Anisul Huq said at a function also responding to a question of a journalist, “The verdict is being studied, after careful reading and scrutinizing, the review petition will be filed and for that time is necessary.”
Besides, the Solicitor Wing of the Law and Justice Division sought a certified copy of this judgment. The 799-page full verdict on 16th amendment of the Constitution was published on August 1. Earlier, on July 3, it was pronounced scrapping the amendment.
On July 3, the Appellate Division upheld the High Court verdict that declared illegal the 16th amendment empowering the parliament to remove the judges of the Supreme Court. Before that on June 1, the apex court concluded the hearing of the appeal filed by the government challenging the High Court verdict.
Meanwhile, the Law Minister repeatedly said the government is scrutinizing the full text of the Appellate Division verdict to take a decision whether they will file review petition against it.
On February 8, the Appellate Division appointed 12 senior jurists as amici curiae (friends of court) seeking their opinions over the legality of the 16th amendment.
On September 17, 2014, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the ‘Constitution (16th Amendment) Bill, 2014′ without any opposition, empowering parliament to impeach judges of the Supreme Court for their ‘incapacity’ or ‘misconduct’.
Nine Supreme Court lawyers filed a writ petition with the High Court on 5 November 2014, questioning the validity of the amendment.
On 5 May, last year, the High Court declared the 16th Amendment to the Constitution illegal. A three-member High Court bench led by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury delivered the verdict by majority. Other two judges of the court were Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal. The government on January 4, this year, filed an appeal challenging the High Court decision.
The Constitution drafted in 1972 had given the MPs the power to impeach judges and decide their term in office. But after the Fourth Amendment in 1975, the power was vested with the President. – Special Correspondent

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