The chamber judge of the Supreme Court stayed a High Court order on Tuesday afternoon only hours after it was issued to block the contractual appointment of Law and Justice Division Secretary ASSM Zahirul Haque.
The High Court bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan had passed an order to stay the contractual appointment of Zahirul Haque for three months.
The High Court came up with the order upon hearing a writ petition filed by Advocate Ashraf-uz Zaman challenging the legality of Zahirul's appointment.
However, Supreme Court Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain in turn halted that order for eight weeks following a petition filed by the government seeking a stay on the High Court order.
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The government, with approval of the president, reappointed Zahirul Haque as law secretary on August 7 on a two-year contract under the condition of cancellation of his leave preparatory to retirement (LPR). The Ministry of Law issued a gazette notification on the same day to the effect of the appointment.
On August 8, the High Court questioned the legality of Zahirul Haque’s appointment and issued a ruling asking the government to explain why its decision to appoint him to the position on contractual basis should not be declared illegal.
In his petition, Ashraf-uz Zaman wrote that the position of secretary to the Law and Justice Division is an office of the judicial service and a judicial official should be appointed to that post.
Zahirul Haque is no longer a judicial officer as he has retired, the petitioner further wrote, adding that the government made Zahirul’s appointment without consulting with the Supreme Court.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune