SC hears Govt appeal against declaring 16th amendment illegal

SC hears Govt appeal against declaring 16th amendment illegal

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Dhaka – The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court Monday started hearing on an appeal filed by the government against a High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution establishing parliament’s authority to remove Supreme Court judges for incapacity or misbehaviour.
The much talked about the important case hearing has started yesterday morning with Additional Attorney General Murad Reza reading out from the High Court verdict.After concluding the day’s hearing, the five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha adjourned the hearing till Tuesday (today).
Earlier, on February 8, the SC 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 November 5, 2014, questioning the legality of the 16th amendment.
The petition also sought an order seeking a stay on the operation of the 16th amendment and also against enacting any law in a bid to remove the Supreme Court judges.
Hearing on the rule began on May 21, 2015, when four eminent lawyers — Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud and Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC –made their depositions to the court as Amicus Curiae.
After primary hearing, the HC bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued a rule asking the government to explain why the amendment should not be declared illegal and contrary to the constitution.
On May 5, 2016, a three-member special HC bench, headed by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, gave its majority verdict and declared the 16th amendment to the constitution illegal.
The HC, however, allowed the government to move an appeal before the Appellate Division against the verdict.
On January 4 this year, the government filed an appeal against the HC verdict with the apex court. – Staff Reporter

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