Noted jurist Dr Kamal Hossain Saturday questioned the necessity of the 15th amendment to the constitution and reintroducing parliamentary election under a partisan government.
“Who had asked for bringing the 15th amendment to the constitution?” questioned Dr Kamal, pointing finger to the incumbent government, reports UNB.
Addressing a conference of Bangladesh National Lawyers’ Association (BNLA) at the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) auditorium, Dr Kamal, also the president of Gono Forum, said no one can justify whether the apex court had asked the incumbent government to bring such amendment to the constitution.
Breaking his long silence over the 15th amendment, Dr Kamal, one of the framers of the country’s constitution, said the court had declared unconstitutional the non-party caretaker government, incorporating the 13th amendment to the constitution as it had some flaws.
The court in its further observations clearly mentioned that the national elections to the 10th and 11th parliaments might be held under the non-party caretaker government, said Dr Kamal, adding that nowhere in the judgment it was mentioned that the election to the 10th parliament would be under the incumbent government. “Not a single line in this regard can be found in the judgment.”
Referring to the judgment, Dr Kamal said it also states: “Even if we declare anything illegal that will be appropriate, if necessary, in the nation’s interest.”
Advancing his argument, Dr Kamal said a 15-member committee had been formed to amend the constitution. In March 2011, all members of the committee agreed to retain the caretaker government system, he said.
But, the 15th amendment was brought within six weeks of the consensus although a discussion on the matter continued for a year, he said.
“In their own arguments, everyone was in favour of retaining the caretaker government system. Even then from where did the 15 amendment appear and where it was discovered?”
Dr Kamal said: “As amici curiae we had submitted our arguments backing the caretaker government system, even Mahbubey Alam, the incumbent Attorney General, the chief law officer of the government, opined that the caretaker government was not unconstitutional. But it did not prevail at long last.”
He, however, said there is no scope for getting disappointed as nobody could get away by resorting to tyranny on Bangladesh’s soil.
Presided over by BNLA President Advocate Ahmed Ali, the conference was addressed, among others, by its Secretary Shah Khasruzzaman, former SCBA secretary Barrister Bodruddoza Badal, advocate Akhtarul Islam and Khorshed Mia Alam. Former Chief Justice M Fazlul Karim was present as the chief guest.
Speaking on the occasion, Justice Fazlul Karim said: “We had got united during the martial law regime and also suffered imprisonment. But today the nation has been divided which is unfortunate.”