Dhaka – ABM Khairul Haque, chairman of the law commission, has lamented the Supreme Court observation on much talked about 16th amendment of the constitution, which the court scrapped earlier, saying the verdict was ‘motivated and irrelevant’.
Haque, also a former chief justice of the Supreme Court, came up with the remarks on Wednesday amid discussion and debates on the verdict heated up the entire political spectrum of the country. The full text of the verdict was published recently.
“It seems, Bangladesh is going to be a judges’ republic,” said the former chief justice as Bangladesh is constitutionally identified as People’s Republic.
The chairman of the Law Commission was addressing a press conference at his office in Dhaka.
The Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha scrapped the 16th amendment of the constitution that had empowered parliament to impeach a judge of the Supreme Court for inability or misconduct.
The constitutional amendment brought by the Awami League-coalition government on September 17, 2014 repealed the provision of judges’ removal through a Supreme Judicial Council to restore a provision that was approved in the 1972 constitution.
As per the Article 94 (4) of constitution, all judges are independent, said Haque asking whether the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is a headmaster and the other judges are his students that he needs the Supreme Judicial Council to lead the other judges.
He said the very verdict of the Supreme Court on the amendment gave a misinterpretation of the constitution. Therefore, yet another amendment will require to bring back the Supreme Judicial Council.
“The Supreme Judicial Council is contrary to the constitution since the provision was not in the constitution,” he said.
He added the Article 1 one of the constitution identifies the country as a people’s republic, but the verdict (on 16th amendment) is taking the country towards a judges’ republic.
The former chief justice said, “How could we depend on the Supreme Judicial Council when the Anti-Corruption Commission was asked in writing to stop investigation against a former judge of the Supreme Court?”
He said the Supreme Court will correct if the lawmakers make any mistake (in the lawmaking process). “Where should we stand if the Supreme Court makes the mistake?”