Law Commission chairman and former chief justice ABM Khairul Haque Wednesday called the Appellate Division judges
‘immature’ for terming parliament and lawmakers dysfunctional and immature in the verdict scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution that had empowered parliament to remove Supreme Court judges for misconduct or incapacity.
At a briefing organised by the Bangladesh Law Commission at its office, the former chief justice said that political issue should never be brought in a verdict.
He said that the 16th amendment verdict, written by chief justice SK Sinha, should not have made ‘such adverse comments against parliament, Election Commission and the speaker’ as they were not a party in the case.
‘If the honorable chief justice calls parliament immature and MPs immature, I have to say, obviously and logically, that the Supreme Court judges are immature,’ he said.
He criticised the verdict saying that it discussed many irrelevant issues bypassing the main issue.
Replying to a query, Khairul Haque, however, said that he also discussed many issues in the Appellate Division verdicts on fifth amendment, seventh amendment and 13th amendment to the constitution to bring back the country to democracy.
He described many remarks made in the 16th amendment verdict, including those against parliament, lawmakers and the Election Commission as ‘irrelevant and unnecessary’ as they were not an issue in the case.
Justice Khairul Haque rejected the Appellate Division observation that there was fear of victimisation of Supre4me Court judges if parliament had the power to remove them as lawmakers could not express their independent views in parliament because of constitutional prohibition on floor crossing.
He said that lawmakers were constitutionally independent to express their opinions in parliament.
‘It depends on the lawmakers whether or not they would exercise their rights,’ he said.
Justice Khairul Haque said that it was for the first time the Supreme Court restored the martial law provision of Supreme Judicial Council in the constitution replacing parliamentary mechanism for the removal of judges incorporated in the 1972 constitution.
He said that parliament now needed to pass a bill to restore Supreme Judicial Council and the council would not be automatically restored.
Justice Khairul Haque, however, said that an original article of the constitutional would come back atomically to fill up vacuum in the constitution.
The former chief justice said that if the executive or the legislative committed any mistake, they could go to the Supreme Court.
‘But our concern is that what we do if Supreme Court commits mistake,’ he said.
He claimed that the main reason to restore Supreme Judicial Council was to make all Supreme Court judges accountable to the chief justice.
‘All Supreme Court judges are respectable and independence and they are duty-bound and responsible according to the Article 94 of the constitution,’ he said.
The law commission chairman said, ‘He [CJ] is not a headmaster and all judges are not his students who have to be disciplined by him.’
He said, ‘It is also an immaturity of the chief justice.’
Justice Khairul Haque said that all people including Supreme Court judges should be accountable to the people who were represented by lawmakers.
He said that restoration of the Supreme Judicial Council meant that the chief justice wanted to establish judges’ republic of Bangladesh instead of the people’s republic of Bangladesh.
Justice Khairul Haque said that it was a preconceived view of the Supreme Court to strike down the 16th amendment as many judges made derogatory remarks against lawmakers before the 16th amendment was declared unconstitutional.
He said that there was no relationship of Supreme Judicial Council with upholding the independence of the judiciary until 1974 when the parliament was vested the power to remove the Supreme Court judges.
News Courtesy: www.newagebd.net