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Parliament adopts resolution challenging 16th Amendment verdict

  • Published at 03:01 am September 14th, 2017
  • Last updated at 04:16 pm September 14th, 2017
Parliament adopts resolution challenging 16th Amendment verdict
Parliament has unanimously adopted a resolution seeking legal measures against the Supreme Court verdict declaring the 16th Amendment to the constitution illegal. The resolution also demanded removing “unconstitutional, objectionable and irrelevant” observations by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha in the verdict. Addressing the parliament session, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said: “The chief justice has dishonoured the president and raised questions about the role of the father of the nation and the country’s independence.” Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal lawmaker Moin Uddin Khan Badal placed the resolution in the House which was adopted by voice votes on Wednesday night. The top court, on July 3, unanimously declared the 16th Amendment to the constitution illegal, stripping parliament of its power to impeach Supreme Court judges. Speaking about parliament’s freedom of expression, Hasina said: “In a democratic country, the judiciary, legislature and executive enjoy equal rights and they work as supplementary to each other.” The apex court does not have the authority to amend the constitution, she further said, adding that the Supreme Judicial Council which was formulated during the martial law has put the whole judiciary under the chief justice’s sole authority. During the discussion, several MPs came down hard on the chief justice for his remarks regarding the verdict. Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government would challenge the judgement which he dubbed “illogical and emotional”. “The verdict has tarnished the image of not only the judiciary, but the country as well,” he said. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed pointed out that the chief justice had asked the Anti-Corruption Commission not to conduct investigation against judges. “The commission can investigate graft charges against prime minister, me and all of us, but they cannot investigate the charges against judges!” Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozzamel Huq demanded the Surendra Kumar Sinha’s resignation claiming there were “many corruption allegations” against the chief justice. Opposition leader in the House Raushan Ershad, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Deputy Speaker Fazle Rabbi Miah, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Water Resource Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, State Minister for Labour and Employment Mujibul Haque, Awami League MPs Dr Dipu Moni, Fazilatun Nasa Bappy, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, independent MPs Rustum Ali Faraji and Tahjib Alam Siddique also joined the discussion.
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