• Monday, May 25, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:07 pm

ASK: Pirojpur incident raises questions about judiciary’s independence

  • Published at 11:23 pm March 5th, 2020
Ain O Salish Kendra

The incident would severely damage efforts towards establishing rule of law and justice, said the rights body 

The legal rights advocacy group Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) has expressed concern over the stand-release of the Pirojpur district and session judge following the denial of bail for former parliamentarian and district Awami League President AKMA Awal and his wife Laila Parvin.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the rights body said the incident had raised serious questions about the independence of the judiciary.

ASK also mentioned that Law Minister Anisul Haque's comments had been disappointing.

On March 3, Judge Mannan, rejecting their bail prayers in three corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) last year, ordered that Awal and his wife be sent to jail.

Following a demonstration on the court premises by supporters of Awal, Judge Mannan was stand-released and attached to the law ministry.

The ASK statement said that the incident in Pirojpur had severely damaged the rule of law and efforts to establish justice. 

On the other hand, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque's comments on the issue were very disappointing, it said, adding: “He acknowledged that the district judge had been withdrawn for controlling the situation. Again, he said that there had been no disruption of the rule of law."

ASK feels that an unprecedented instance has been set up by this incident, the effects of which are far-reaching. The minister also commented on the judge's behaviour. People's prevailing doubt regarding the government's influence over the judiciary has become stronger with the immediate withdrawal of the judge, it added.  

Although decades have passed since the separation of the judiciary from the executive, the extent to which the judiciary still enjoys independence has become more apparent, said ASK in the statement.

"No person is above the law, no matter how powerful," it said. But the message after the removal of the judge will prove that politically influential people involved in corruption, crime trends and human rights violations are above the law. It will present Bangladesh as a state in utmost shame,” the statement noted. 

The government should ensure an impartial investigation of the incident and take appropriate action by identifying those involved so that such unfortunate incidents were not repeated, ASK said.

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