Taking part in the hearing on a government time petition over the implementation of raising the salaries and other allowances of lower court judges, three of the eight amici curiae on Sunday opposed the enactment of a law in this regard.Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister Raifique-ul Haque and AF Hasan Ariff came up with the same opinions during the hearing before a 10-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice M Muzammel Hossain, on a pending contempt of court case against the finance secretary over non-implementation of the apex court order on Judicial Service Pay Commission (JSPC) over the Masdar Hossain Case, known as the judiciary separation case.
The five other amici curiae—TH Khan, Mahmudul Islam, Dr M Zahir, Barrister Rokon Uddin Mahmud and Taufiq Newaj—will make their submissions on Monday.
Citing article 133 of the Constitution, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the court that the government can enact a law to determine the salaries and allowances of the judges as they are the public servants.
Posing a question in reply, the court said why they compare the judiciary with the civil administration. “They (civil servants) get posting even though there’s no post. They can go on tour abroad six times a year, they withdraw bills after holding meetings. But they (judges) have no such facilities.”
Observing that showing a discriminatory attitude towards the judges will not be appropriate, the court asked the government whether it wants the meritorious people to join the judiciary.
It also said the government has no jurisdiction to send the court order to parliament to enact a law to determine the salaries of the judges. “It’s an order of the Supreme Court.”
Later, Dr Kamal Hossain, while submitting his expert opinion, said the court should issue a contempt of court rule if its orders are not implemented.
Barrister Rafique-ul Haque said there is no cope to send the court verdict to parliament. “If so, any verdict will be sent to parliament before its implementation.”
AF Hasan Ariff expressed the same opinion while making his submission on the issue.
On April 16, the Supreme Court adjourned until Sunday the hearing of the government time petition filed by the Attorney General.
The apex court on March 14 asked the government to increase the pay scale of the lower court judges by 30 percent instead of the 20 percent proposed by the government.
Passing the order, it had also asked the government to submit a report on compliance of the implementation of the pay scale by April 15.
When the court resumed hearing on April 15, the Attorney General told it that they would file an appeal the following day in this regard. Later, the court fixed April 16 for hearing of the petition.
Submitting the time petition on the day, the Attorney General told the court that it would be appropriate to fix the salaries and allowances of the judicial service officials through formulating a law instead of issuing a gazette notification for which the government needed at least four weeks.
On July 19, 2012, the SC asked the government to fully implement by October 1 the recommendations of the JSPC formed in June 2007 in the light of the historic Masdar Hossain Case that separated the judiciary from the shackles of the executive.