Law Minister Anisul Huq has said the gazette to frame the rules, code of conduct and appointment of lower court judges will be issued next week.
While addressing the inaugural session of the National Judicial Conference 2017 at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Friday, the minister said he is relived that the longstanding tensions between the executive and judiciary have finally been resolved over this matter.
The Appellate Division of the Bangladesh Supreme Court under former Chief Justice SK Sinha dismissed a draft of the rules submitted on July 30, expressing its disappointment over certain sections of the document.
However, Law Minister Anisul Huq claimed that the draft had been prepared in line with the instructions from the judiciary and in the presence of President Abdul Hamid, as per proper procedure, and they were sent to the Supreme Court accordingly.
Citing sections of constitution, Anisul said: “All actions [regarding draft service rules of judges] by the executive branch of the government are taken in the president’s name. According to Article 55 (6) of the constitution, he [the president] makes the rules for the allocation and transaction of government business. He formed the Rules of Business 1996 accordingly.”
“It is rational that the person with the power to make appointment rules also has the power to make their service rules. The Law and Justice Division of the Law Ministry, at the president’s instruction, drafted the rules and regulations regarding the lower courts in accordance with the decision and sent the draft to the Supreme Court.”
While this tension between the judiciary and executive branches of the government was brewing, the then Chief Justice SK Sinha went on leave and eventually submitted his resignation over his verdict dismissing the 16th amendment to the constitution.
The service rules gazette issue came before the Appellate Division on October 8. The court then extended the time until November 5.
The state, represented by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, asked the court for more time on November 5.
An Appellate Division bench led by acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah extended the time again to December 3.
This article was first published on the Bangla Tribune