MPs voting against party to impeach judge is Ok: Justice Khairul Haque

MPs voting against party to impeach judge is Ok: Justice Khairul Haque

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Law Commission Chairman ABM Khairul Haque says there is ‘no constitutional bar’ to MPs voting against their party decisions in Parliament to impeach any Supreme Court judge for misconduct.
He said on Tuesday the floor-crossing provision of the Constitution’s Article 70 will not be applicable in this case.The former chief justice came up with the opinion at a press briefing, a day after the Cabinet approved the draft of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Judges (Investigation) Act, which is intended to address the issue of incompetence and misconduct of the top judges.
The Article 70 stipulates, “A person elected as a Member of Parliament at an election at which he was nominated as a candidate by a political party shall vacate his seat if he… (b) votes in Parliament against that party.”
The draft law says if anyone files a complaint against any Supreme Court judge, a committee of 10 MPs will examine its ‘merit’.
It provides that a close-door meeting shall be held in Parliament if the complaint is primarily proved genuine. Parliament can constitute a three-strong committee to investigate the complaint.
A judge facing the impeachment move will have the opportunity to defend himself by submitting a written version to the committee chairman, it says.
The matter will be placed in Parliament for voting if the committee finds the judge ‘guilty’ of misconduct or incompetent.
The president will remove the judge on recommendation from Parliament if two-thirds MPs vote for the removal.
Asked whether any MP voting against the party decision in the impeachment move would constitute floor-crossing, Khairul said, “I don’t think so. The Article 70 doesn’t say anything like this.” – Agencies

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