The government is seeking possible ways to restore the 16th Amendment to the constitution that empowered parliament to impeach judges, though this was scrapped by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on July 3.
Renowned lawyers and constitutional experts have been consulted to find a means to achieve this. However, the government has not yet made a plan or found a solution.
The lawyers have asked the ruling party to seek a review of the decision, sources said.
Law Minister Anisul Huq and Attorney General Mahbubey Alam are consulting with various lawyers on behalf of the government, confirmed two high-profile government sources requesting to remain anonymous.
The government has a time frame of 30 days to seek a review. However, their lawyers have suggested it seek an extension of three to four months’ time with valid justifications, which is now being discussed in the party.
It needs to be mentioned that Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha will retire from his position in January 2018.
In addition to finding a strategy for reviewing the decision, the government is also seeking ways to re-empower parliament in line with the constitution. It is trying to discover whether the president has the authority to resolve the matter.
If such a way can be found as per the constitution, it would be a complex process, the lawyers have told the government.
Thus, they have spoken in favour of reinstating power by reviewing the decision as the best option. However, they have also said the likelihood of the decision being changed is minimal, and so they advised the government to follow a slower, more cautious policy.
Also Read - Full text of 16th Amendment verdict released
No matter the result, the government has decided to find a solution in which the executive and judiciary do not face conflict. The ruling party not only wants to re-empower parliament, but is also against naming the current authority to impeach Supreme Court judges as “Supreme Judicial Council,” a system followed in Pakistan.
The ruling party has asked its leaders not to make negative comments on the court decision.
Anisul will disclose the government’s formal reaction in a press briefing on August 10.
When asked, former law minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said the government might review the apex court decision on scrapping the 16th Amendment, completing the review in 30 days.
“The government, however, can seek more time for review if there are valid grounds,” he said.
Ruling party members are dismayed over the court verdict as it was unexpected for them. They are looking for every possible means of resolving any complexities that may arise on the issue.
Following instructions of the party’s senior command, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has asked all party leaders not to comment on the matter.
On Sunday, Finance Minister AMA Muhith expressed resentment over the decision in Sylhet. However, Obaidul said the minister’s comment was not reflective of the party; rather, it was a personal comment.
The report was first published in Bangla Tribune