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Judges' service rules gazette published, lower courts still in president's hands

  • Published at 07:30 pm December 11th, 2017
  • Last updated at 11:47 pm December 12th, 2017
Judges' service rules gazette published, lower courts still in president's hands
The government has finally issued the gazette for service rules and conduct for lower court judges, two days before the Appellate Division was scheduled to hold another hearing on the matter. Despite clear instructions in the Masdar Hossain verdict, which separated the judiciary from the executive, the government has kept the lower courts under the president's control. The gazette was published on the Law Ministry website on Monday evening. The rules of appointment, administration and removal of lower court judges retains the power in the president's hands, according to the gazette. On Sunday, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court extended the deadline for the government to finalize and publish the gazette again, giving them three days' time.
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The gazette's section 3 part 8 defines appropriate authority as the president or the ministry or division entrusted within the scope of the Rules of Business formulated under section 55(6) of the Constitution. Earlier on December 3, the apex court had extended the deadline until Sunday. The order came following Law Minister Anisul Huq’s recent remarks that the gazette would be published very soon as the draft of the gazette had already been sent to President Abdul Hamid's office. “Conduct rules for the lower court judges’ will put an impact on the discipline of the judiciary. So, we are now scrutinizing all the relevant issues regarding the rules so they cannot be questioned once the gazette notification is published,” the minister said. The law minister had planned to sit with former chief justice SK Sinha, and after his resignation sat with Appellate Division judges including acting chief justice Abdul Wahhab Miah. The December 2, 1999 Appellate Division verdict in the historic State v Masdar Hossain case mandated a 12-point guideline on the separation of the judiciary from the executive, including guidelines for the formulation of service rules and code of conduct for lower court judges.

Here is the gazette notification for perusal