The Supreme Court is dissatisfied over the government's continuous failure to finalise the disciplinary and conduct rules for lower court judges.
Monday was the deadline for the government to issue the gazette notification on the code of conduct, as the Supreme Court had ordered on April 4. Instead, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam submitted a fresh petition before the court seeking a two-week extension.
A five-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha heard the petition in the morning and expressed frustration that the government had sought yet another extension.
“Two weeks, two months or two years – it is all the same to you [the government],” said an annoyed Chief Justice.
Speaking to the attorney general, he asked: “Which city is the largest in the world? New York or Tokyo?
“I think the largest city in the world is Dhaka, because the distance between the Supreme Court and Ganabhaban [the prime minister's official residence] and Bangabhaban [the president's official residence] seems to be several hundred thousand kilometres,” the Chief Justice said, referring to the government's failure to finalise the rules despite being granted several time extensions by the top court.
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The bench also asked why two years were not enough for the government to make the modifications recommended by the Supreme Court and issue the gazette notification after finalising the rules.
Later, it granted the government a week's extension.
After the hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the government might have to seek another time extension.
The Lower Judiciary was officially separated from the Executive in November 2007, but the disciplinary rules for lower court judges have yet to be finalised.
On December 2, 1999, during a hearing of the Masdar Hossain case, the Supreme Court issued a seven-point directive, including formulation of separate disciplinary rules, for the lower court judges.
The Ministry of Law submitted the draft of the code of conduct to the Supreme Court on May 7, 2015. The court sent the draft back to the ministry with some modifications and asked the government to finalise the code and issue a gazette notification.