HC releases text of mobile court verdict, stayed till 2 July

HC releases text of mobile court verdict, stayed till 2 July

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Dhaka – The High Court Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday released the full text of its verdict declaring mobile court conducted by executive magistrates illegal and contradictory to the Constitution of the country.A High Court bench comprising Justice M Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Ashish Ranjan Das released the verdict on Wednesday morning. However, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed the High Court order till July 2 responding to a petition filed on behalf of the state.
On May 11, the HC declared mobile court illegal and contradictory to the Constitution. The court declared section 5, which empowers an executive magistrate to conduct mobile court, and sections 6 (1), 6 (2), 6 (4), 7, 8 (1), 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15 of the Mobile Court Act 2009 illegal and contradictory to the Constitution and independence and supremacy of the judiciary. “And it also goes against the verdict on the Masdar Hossain case,” the verdict added.
On September 14, 2011, a mobile court sentenced Kamruzzaman Khan, Chairman of Esthetic Properties Development Limited, for violating some sections of the Building Construction Act. Later, Kamruzzaman Khan secured bail in the case and filed a writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of several sections and sub-sections of the Mobile Court Act on October 11.
On October 19 of the same year, the High Court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why sections 5, 6 (1), 6 (2), 6 (4), 7, 8 (1), 9, 10, 11, 13 and 15 should not be declared illegal and contradictory to the Constitution.
In December of that year, Mujibur Rahman, a house owner in the capital, filed another writ petition after a mobile court fined him Tk 10 lakh, in default, to serve 30 days in the prison for violating the Building Construction Act.
Following the writ petition, the High Court issued another rule in this regard and stayed the verdict of mobile court. On May 2, 2012, seventeen bakery owners of Dinajpur filed the another writ petition challenging some sections of the Mobile Court Act seeking an order from the High Court to enact a policy for keeping food experts and necessary food-testing equipment with mobile courts.
The apex court issued a rule taking into cognizance the writ petition on May 8. In March 2017, the High Court heard the three rules and kept the order pending.
A mobile court ordinance was promulgated in 2007 during the army-backed caretaker government. Later, the Awami League Government enacted the Mobile Court Act on October 4, 2009. – Special Correspondent

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