Dhaka, Bangladesh
'No need to involve law ministry'

Formulating judges' service rules

'No need to involve law ministry'

The Supreme Court can design the rules for lower court judges by getting the approval of the president, and without involving the law ministry, according to Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, reports bdnews24.com. The senior lawyer shared his view in a written statement presented to the appellate bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on Sunday. Barrister Islam, a key figure behind the drafting of Bangladesh's constitution, is one of the lawyers representing the petitioners of the Masdar Hossain case, the historic verdict of which had led to the separation of judiciary from the executive in 2007. His statement comes at a time when relations between these two pillars of the state are strained over the drafting of rules for subordinate court judges. After being granted a series of extensions by the top court, Law Minister Anisul Haq last month submitted a draft gazette, but it was rejected by Chief Justice Sinha "for going against the court's advice". The chief justice then proposed to meet the law minister, the attorney general and law ministry experts any time before Aug 3 to settle the issue, but that did not happen. Minister Haq said he would sit for talks on Thursday, but later said he was ill. On Sunday, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam again sought time for publishing the gazette, and was granted another two weeks. Article 116 of the constitution allows the Appellate Division and High Court to draft regulations for subordinate court judges by getting the president's approval, and the process did not require the law ministry's involvement, said Barrister Islam. "We made the same request 17 years ago," he later told reporters. "Chief Justice Mustafa Kamal then in his verdict said that there needs to be a legal atmosphere for formulating the rules. "We are making the same plea after 17 years, that part of his verdict must be reviewed. Because Article 116 gives the task of setting discipline for lower court judges to the president. "For this, the Supreme Court will formulate the rules and get it approved by the president. This does not need a minister or the ministry."

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