SC releases judgment text revoking 16th constitutional amendment

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DHAKA, Aug 1, 2017 (BSS) – The Supreme Court (SC) today released the full text of an Appellate Division judgment upholding a High Court verdict scrapping parliamentary authority in impeaching higher judiciary judges, by declaring illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution.

“The 799-page text of the verdict has been released as the judges signed it,” a Supreme Court official told BSS.

The Supreme Court also uploaded the text on its website.

“…disciplinary actions of all service holders are taken by the department concerned after holding in-house inquiries by the same department to which he belongs not by any outsider. That is the general principle of law. The Judiciary cannot be an exception,” the apex court judgment read.

It added: “Thus when the question of removal of any person holding a post of Supreme Court Judges’ status arises, that should be and must be dealt with by such council of their own people, of course higher in rank.”

The apex court on July 3, 2017, passed its judgement upholding the High Court verdict, while it dismissed a state appeal against the initial verdict.

On June 1, the apex court concluded hearing on the state appeal against High Court verdict that had declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution, which had empowered parliament to remove judges for incapacity or misbehavior.

Earlier on February 8, 2017, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court appointed 12 senior jurists as amicus curiae to give their opinions during the hearing on state appeal.

The 12 amici curiae were – Dr Kamal Hossain, Justice (rtd) TH Khan, Barrister Amirul Islam, Barrister AF Hasan Arif, Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Advocate Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Barrister Rokonuddin Mahmud, Barrister MI Farooqui, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Fida M Kamal.

Of the twelve, ten amici curiae submitted their views; nine opposed the 16th amendment, while only one supported it.

A three-member High Court bench led by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury delivered the initial verdict by majority on May 5, 2016. The two other judges were Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal.

The state later filed an appeal against the High Court verdict.

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