HC bench ‘embarrassed’ to hear writ petition challenging presidential election process
A High Court bench today felt “embarrassed” to hear a writ petition filed challenging the process of electing Mohammad Shahabuddin as president. The bench of Justice Farah Mahbub and Justice Ahmed Sohel was set to hear the petition. But it forwarded the petition to the chief justice for a decision, saying one of the bench members felt embarrassed to hear the writ petition. Justice Ahmed Sohel expressed embarrassment, saying he was a lawyer at Anti-Corruption Commission for five years. Also Read: Controversy over President-elect unexpected: CEC Supreme Court lawyer MA Aziz Khan filed the writ petition with the concerned branch of the High Court on March 7. The Election Commission and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) had been made respondents in the writ petition. The writ petition was filed challenging the process through which the president was elected, and the gazette that was published later. “Mohammad Shahabuddin was a former Commissioner of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). According to Section 9 of the ACC Act 2004, A former ACC Commissioner is not permitted to hold any profitable position,” he said. Mohammad Shahabuddin, a retired judge and former Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, was elected as the country's 22nd president. On February 13, a gazette was issued declaring him elected as President of Bangladesh under Section 7 of the Presidential Election Act, 1991. Mohammad Shahabuddin will succeed current President M. Abdul Hamid after his term expires on April 23.
HC expresses dissatisfaction with NBR chairman over e-Orange issue
The High Court has expressed dissatisfaction with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) over failure to submit a report on revenue collection of e-commerce platform e-Orange. The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat expressed the displeasure on Sunday saying that, “"Why is he (NBR chairman) not following the court's order?" What is the reason? Ask the NBR chairman to submit the requested explanation and information.” Earlier, on January 29, the High Court gave another two weeks to the NBR chairman to report how much revenue was collected against e-Orange transactions. On November 3, 2022, the High Court asked the Home Ministry about the steps taken in this regard. The Home Ministry took two weeks to submit the progress report. As it failed, the court has given another two weeks to the Home Secretary about this matter. On April 3, 2021, some 547 customers filed a writ petition seeking return of Tk 77.46 crore and directives for investigations into the allegations of money laundering against the company. The High Court on April 7, 2022 directed the Anti-Corruption Commission and Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit to investigate the allegations of money laundering and embezzlement customers’ money against e-Orange, and to submit a report within four months. It also issued a rule asking the government to explain why directives should not be given to the authorities concerned to take legal action against those involved in siphoning off money from the customers of the e-commerce platform after investigation. The customers of e-Orange ordered products from the e-commerce platform by collecting e-ticket after clearing payments. But the company did not provide them with the products.
IU student torture: HC orders suspension of 5 students including Antara
The High Court on Wednesday ordered the Islamic University authorities to suspend its five female students who were found involved in the torture and humiliation of a first year student at Deshratna Sheikh Hasina Hall on the campus. The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order. The court also asked the university authorities to remove the provost from the dormitory. The five students are—vice president of IU unit Bangladesh Chhatra League Sanjida Chowdhury Antara of Statistics Department, activists Tabassum Islam of Finance and Banking Department, Israt Zahan Meem of Law Department, Halima Khatun Urmi of Fine Arts Department, Moabiya of Finance and Banking Department. The five suspended students won’t be allowed to take part in the academic activists of the university and cannot stay on the campus, said the court. Besides, it asked the IU authorities to allot Fulpori Khatun a dormitory as per her choice. Also Read: Torture of Fulpori demonstrates university admin’s failure: Judicial inquiry report Advocate Gazi Md Mohsin stood for the writ petitioner and Advocate Shah Manjurul Haque stood for Islamic University while Deputy Attorney General tushar Kanti Roy represented the state. On Tuesday, the judicial inquiry committee formed to probe the torture on Fulpori Khatun, a first year student of Banking and Finance Department of the university, found that the girl was tortured brutally and inhumanly and the university authorities failed to act properly. It also found the five students responsible for the incident. The report was submitted before High Court bench of Justice JBM Hasan and Justice Raziq Al Jalil The HC bench fixed Wednesday for passing an order in this regard. Also Read: IU students demand expulsion of five BCL activists over torture at dormitory The inquiry committee found their involvement in the incident and said hall provost and house tutor totally failed to perform their responsibilities. The university proctor also showed negligence and indifference in discharging his duties, said the report. Fulpori, a first year student of Finance and Banking department, was tortured and humiliated by Islamic University unit of BCL vice-president Shanjida Chowdhury Antara and her cohorts at Deshratna Sheikh Hasina Hall on the campus in Kushtia on February 12. The incident came to light after the victim left the hall and disclosed the matter to her seniors and her family members the next day. The BCL leader also threatened that she would release the video on social media if the student discloses the matter to anyone, according to the complainant. The student lodged a written complaint with the university administration, including the university proctor, student adviser and the hall provost, demanding punishment of those involved in the incident on February 14. Two probe bodies were formed by the Islamic University authorities and the Deshratna Sheikh Hasina Hall administration after the victim’s complaints to them. The probe bodies submitted their probe reports to the university administration on Sunday. A writ petition was also filed by Gazi Mohammad Mohsin, an alumnus of the university and a lawyer, with the High Court. The Kushtia district administration, meanwhile, formed a three-member inquiry committee, led by additional district magistrate ANM Abujar Gifari, and asked it to submit the inquiry report within seven days following a High Court order on February 20. Accused BCL leader Antara and activist Tabassum left the hall following the High Court order. The five students were expelled from Deshratna Sheikh Hasina Hall on Monday as the hall authorities found their involvement in the assault on Fulpori.
HC orders demolition of illegal brick kilns in 5 central districts within 2 weeks
The High Court on Monday ordered the authorities concerned to demolish all illegal brick kilns in five districts including Dhaka within next two weeks to reduce air pollution. An HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Muhammad Ali passed the order after hearing a petition in this regard. The court ordered the Director General of Department of Environment (DoE) to submit a report after evicting all the illegal brick kilns in Dhaka, Munshiganj, Narayanganj, Manikganj and Gazipur within the timeframe. Expressing resentment to all government departments concerned over their failure to reduce the air pollution of the Dhaka, the court asked, “Why has the capital been ranking in the top or near the top in the list of the most polluted cities of the world for the past few days if effective measures were taken as per our directives?” “We are not satisfied with your steps taken abiding by our directives,” the HC said. The court said water is not sufficiently sprayed to reduce the air pollution along with the nuisance of the dengue mosquito. The HC also asked the city corporations to take care of the problems. Counsel Amatul Karim stood for the DoE; senior lawyer Manzil Morshed represented the writ petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar stood for the state. Earlier in 2020, the HC gave a nine-point directive to address the air pollution. The directives are given below. 1. The trucks carrying sand and earth operate by covering with protection in the capital. 2. Contractors will have to cover the construction sites where works are on. 3. Steps will have to be taken to spray water in the areas where water is not spayed properly. 4. Apply the rules and regulations, terms and conditions in the areas where mega projects by roads and carpeting works are going on. 5. Seize the vehicles which emit black smoke. 6. Fix the economic life of the vehicles plying on the roads and impose embargo on the obsoleted ones as per the Road Transport Act-2018. 7. Submit report after demolishing the brick kilns which are running without licenses. 8. Stop burning tyres and recycling batteries without permission from the DoE. 9. The city corporations will have to remove the garbage from markets and shops after closing those. Read more: Around 60 percent brick kilns are operating illegally: Minister The lawyer Manzil Morshed filed a petition seeking directives to implement the nine-point order on January 30, this year. On January 31, the HC wanted to know about what measures taken by the authorities concerned to reduce the air pollution. Later, the DoE submitted its report on February 26 following the HC order. The court later gave two weeks to the DoE to execute the directives.
HC orders ACC to probe AL MP Golap’s properties in US
The High Court on Monday ordered the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the allegation over purchasing of multiple houses by Awami League MP Abdus Sobhan Mia (Golap) in New York. The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order after hearing on a writ petition in this regard. The court asked the ACC to submit the probe report within four months. The court also issued a rule asking why the inaction of the respondents to investigate the allegation against Golap over purchasing multiple houses in New York and acquiring huge illegal property abroad through abusing power should not be declared illegal. Barrister Syed Sayedul Haque Suman stood for the writ petition. Barrister Syed Sayedul filed the writ petition with the HC bench concerned on Sunday seeking investigation into the alleged purchase of nine houses by MP Golap in New York at a cost of 40 lakh dollar. Chief Election Commissioner, Chairman of Anti-Corruption Commission, Chairman of National Board of Revenue (NBR) and secretary to the Home Ministry were made respondents in the writ petition. Also Read: HC questions govt’s inaction to free house from AL MP Murshedy’s occupation A report in this regard was published in a daily newspaper which was attached to the writ. Recently, Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a global network of investigative journalism, published a report on its website where it claimed that AL MP Golap purchased a number of houses in New York at a cost of 40 lakh dollar. According to the report, Golap started to buy homes in New York from 2014 and in five years, he managed to purchase nine houses. The estimated cost of the houses is approximately Tk 42 crore. Golap was elected AL MP from Madaripur-3 constituency in 2018 and he was made the publicity secretary of the Central Awami League in December last. He was also served as the office secretary of the party.
Corruption allegations against ex-Gazipur mayor Jahangir: HC asks to complete probe within 6 months
The High Court (HC) on Wednesday asked the authorities concerned to complete the investigation into corruption allegations against Gazipur City Corporation’s former mayor Jahangir Alam within six months. An HC bench of Justice Md Nazul Islam Talukder and Justice Khizir Hayat passed the order during the hearing of a writ petition. Advocates ZI Khan Panna and Ekramul Hoque Tutul stood for the writ petitioner, Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan represented the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik stood for the state at the hearing. Md Abdur Rahim, a resident of Paschim Bhirulia Sarkar Bari under the GCC, moved the HC with a writ petition to dispose of the investigation into corruption allegations against Jahangir on Tuesday. Apart from this, the court wanted to know why directives won’t be given to quickly complete the investigation into the corruption and take proper initiatives as per the rule. The investigators were asked to submit a probe report before the court. ACC chairman, Local Government secretary, additional secretary, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit, GCC incumbent acting mayor and former mayor Jahangir were respondents to the rule. In a recent newspaper report, it was said that the former mayor Jahangir and his cohorts embezzled Tk 12.43 crore from a project on garbage drainage for the fiscal years 2018-2019 to 2020-2021. Besides, allegations of corruption involving a huge amount of money were brought against the former mayor, who was sacked from the post of general secretary of Gazipur city unit of Awami League following his derogatory remarks on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2021. Read more: Cyber tribunal orders probe against suspended Gazipur mayor under DSA
B'baria Bar Association created a black mark in Bangladesh’s legal history, HC observes
The High Court (HC) on Tuesday observed that the Brahmanbaria Bar Association has created a black mark in the legal history of Bangladesh. The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil made the observation when three lawyers, including president and secretary of Brahmanbaria Bar Association, appeared before it to explain the allegations of 'indecent behavior' in the courtroom of Brahmanbaria on January 2. Momtaz Uddin Fakir, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association told the High Court that the issue of Brahmanbaria is being peacefully solved as all courts are resuming their activities from today. "Give us 1 month as we have some work to resolve the problem completely,” he added. Replying to this, the High Court said no development has been made. They (Lawyers) are just wasting time and they have made the Brahmanbaria court, a constitutional institution, non-operational. The court is observing everything, it added. Also Read: 21 lawyers should be ashamed of indecent slogans against B'baria Judge, HC observes It is a crime worse than contempt of court, said the HC bench and warned that HC will think about whether they are eligible to practice in Bangladesh or not. No one is above law, be it the president or the member of the Bar Association, said the court adding if the Bar Council does not take any action, the HC will do whatever is necessary. Besides, the High Court fixed February 26 for the next hearing. Supreme Court Bar Association President Md Momtaz Uddin Fakir and secretary Abdun Noor Dulal and Advocate Sayed Ahmed Raza stood for the B’baria lawyers at the court. On January 10, the HC summoned the 21 lawyers including the Brahmanbaria Bar Association secretary to explain the allegation of contempt of court for chanting indecent slogans against the district judge during the court session. Also Read: Misconduct with B'baria Judge: HC orders removing video The court also issued a rule to explain why contempt of court proceedings should not be initiated against them. Brahmanbaria District and Sessions Judge Sharmin Nigar sent a letter to the Supreme Court in this regard on January 9. Earlier on January 5, the same bench summoned three lawyers including Brahmanbaria Bar Association president on January 17 for misbehaving with the district Woman and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Mohammad Faruq. Those summoned were Bar Association president Advocate Tanvir Ahmed Bhuiyan, Secretary (Administration) Advocate Md Akkas Ali and Advocate Zubair Islam. The court also issued a rule questioning as to why punitive action should not be taken against them on contempt of court charge. On January 4, district Woman and Child Repression Prevention Tribunal Judge Mohammad Faruq sent a written complaint to the High Court to take action against those involved in this incident. Later, on the instructions of the Chief Justice, the Registrar General of the Supreme Court sent the written complaint of the judge to the HC bench. On January 2, Bar Association president advocate Md Tanvir Bhuiyan, Secretary Advocate Md Akkas Ali and around 10-15 lawyers including Zubair Islam came and rudely asked the judge to leave the courtroom. Advocate Tanvir hurled abusive words at the court, as per the complaint. Meanwhile, the lawyers of Brahmanbaria, who have been boycotting courts since January 4, resumed the judicial proceedings of all courts, except Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1, from today. The decision to resume the court activities was taken at a meeting of the Brahmanbaria Bar Association held on Monday. Earlier on Sunday, a meeting was held at Brahmanbaria Circuit House around 10:30 am in the presence of law minister, Brahmanbaria-3 constituency MP and District unit Awami League President RAM Obaidul Moktadir, law secretary Golam Sarwar and others, where the law minister assured the lawyers of addressing the issue.
Patriotism of dual citizenship people divided into two parts: HC
The High Court on Thursday observed that the patriotism of a person who has a dual citizenship is divided into two parts. The HC bench of Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice Kizir Hayat Lizu made the observation after a hearing in this regard. The court also set February 13 for passing an order on purchase of property by the people who have dual citizenship, and whether they are appointed for important posts (responsibilities) as per the constitution and existing laws. Besides, the court sought an explanation from the government about the issues following the constitution. Earlier, a vernacular daily brought to light a report with the heading ‘Spending spree to buy properties in abroad’ on Thursday. Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik drew the attention of the court in this regard. Later, the court made the observation during the hearing and set the date for the order as per the constitution. Read more: 13,931 Bangladeshis legally hold dual citizenships, passports In the report, it was said that a competition has been going on among Bangladeshis to buy houses and wealth in Canada, US, Dubai, and London. Earlier, Singapore and Malaysia were the top in the list of choices to purchase the houses and properties by Bangladeshis. Currently, Bangladeshis are in the top position in the race to buy houses and properties compared to the developed countries. Economists said the Bangladeshis, who spent money earned illegally or illegally to buy properties and houses abroad, took the money outside the country illegally as the existing rules allow no transfer of money from the country.
HC asks 17 former and incumbent Biman officers to surrender in Tk 1100 crore embezzlement case
The High Court on Wednesday asked 17 former and incumbent officials of Biman Bangladesh Airlines to surrender before it within next three weeks in a case over embezzlement of around Tk 1100 crore in the name of taking two Egyptian aircraft on lease. An HC bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md Aminul Islam passed the order after hearing an interim bail petition. Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan stood for Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in the court while counsel ARM Hasanuzzaman represented the accused. The accused are Biman Flight Operations Director Captain Ishrat Ahmed, Deputy Engineer Md Shafiqul Alam Siddique, Director General Md Abdur Rahman Fukoy, former chief Engineers Shaheed Uddin Mohammad Hanifi and Devesh Chowdhury, Engineer Md Sadekur Rahman and DGM Kamal Uddin Ahmed, among others. All the 17accused appeared before the court with bail petitions while they were asked to surrender before it after rejecting the bail prayer. ACC Deputy Director Jesmin Akter filed the case accusing the former and incumbent officers of corruption on February 6 this year. According to the case statement, the accused in collaboration with each other misappropriated Tk 1000.61 crore in the name of taking two Egyptian aircraft on lease through misuse of their power. Engines of two Boeing-777 and-200 aircrafts of ER model went out of order one year after those were brought for five years on lease in 2014. Another engine from Egypt was also flown to operate the previous engines but it also went out of order around one and a half years of its arrival. The government had to incur a Tk 1100 crore loss over five years. These irregularities were found in an investigation carried out by the parliamentary standing committee on civil aviation and tourism ministry. Later, the committee asked the ACC to conduct more investigation into the irregularities. Read more: Biman MD's office assistant involved in question paper leak: DB chief
HC asks Bangla Academy for stall allotment to Adarsha Prokashoni on condition
The High Court on Wednesday asked the authorities concerned to give stall allotment to Adarsha Prokashoni to participate in the month-long Ekushey Book Fair on condition. An HC bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed the order after hearing a petition filed by the publishing house owner Md Mahabubur Rahman, said the plaintiff’s counsel barrister Anik R Hoque. Assistant Attorney General Selim Azad represented the state. Counsel Anik said the court asked the Bangla Academy to give the stall allotment on condition that it cannot keep three books—‘Bangalir Mediacretir Sandhane’ by Faham Abdus Salam, ‘Unnoyan Bibhram’ by Zia Hasan and ‘Oprotiroddo Unnoyane Obhabniyo Kothamala’ by Foyez Ahmad Taiyeb. He said that though the books were not blacklisted or banned, the participation of the publishing house was restricted involving the books. Read More: Barred from Ekushey Book Fair 2023, Adarsha goes to High Court The writers of 600 books, which were published from the Adarsha Prokashoni, will be deprived of taking part in the month-long fair, he said. Owner Mahabubur Rahman filed a petition to the HC seeking intervention after authorities disclosed the names of the participating publishing houses except the Adarsha Prokashoni on January 12.