Application must be submitted to Home Ministry to allow Khaleda Zia to go abroad for better treatment: Law Minister
Bangladesh's Law Minister Anisul Huq today (September 23, 2023) said that an application must be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs to allow BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to go abroad for better treatment. He said this while talking to reporters in Brahmanbaria’s Akhaura upazila. BNP extends 15-day programmes by 2 days “The application must be submitted to the Home Ministry, which then can ask the Law Ministry for its opinion. A decision will be reached upon their formal submission,” he said. “Khaleda Zia continues to receive quality healthcare at Evercare Hospital despite her prison sentence, courtesy of the benevolence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” the law minister added. Earlier on September 18, the Security Services Division under the Home Ministry issued a notification extending the suspension of Khaleda’s jail term by another six months. BNP’s associate bodies’ road march from Rangpur to Dinajpur begins this noon Khaleda Zia has to receive treatment in Dhaka, and she will not be allowed to go abroad during this period, said the notification. BNP held special prayers for her at the metropolitan, district, upazila, municipality, union and ward levels across the country after Jummah prayers. The 78-year-old former prime minister has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems. Since her conditional release in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving treatment at the hospital under a medical board headed by cardiologist Prof Shahabuddin Talukder. Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year. BNP ‘secretly’ preparing for election to start nomination trade: Quader Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government of Bangladesh temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020, with the condition that she stay in her Gulshan house and not leave the country.
Law Minister Anisul Huq on Friday announced the dismissal of Deputy Attorney General Imran Ahmed Bhuiyan from his post, but did not cite any reason. The minister confirmed this while replying to a question from journalists at Akhaura Railway Station in Brahmanbaria on Friday. Read : DAG Imran broke discipline by making statements before media: Law Minister DAG Imran was dismissed under section 4(1) of ‘The Bangladesh Law Officers Order, 1972,’ according to a notification issued by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. The order issued in the public interest will come into effect immediately, the notification read. The section 4(1) stipulates, ‘A law officer shall hold office during the pleasure of the President and his services may be terminated at any time by the president without any reason being assigned for his termination.’ Read : Muhammad Yunus: DAG refuses to sign anti-Yunus statement allegedly prepared by AG office On September 4, Deputy Attorney General Imran Ahmed Bhuiyan told reporters that he declined to sign a statement allegedly prepared by the Attorney General’s office in protest against the statement of world leaders in support of Nobel laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus. Later on Tuesday, the law minister said DAG Imran breached discipline by making a statement about the issue without prior permission from the Attorney General. Read : Son jailed for life for killing mother in Sylhet “He (DAG Imran) is employed by the Attorney General's Office. If he wants to speak to reporters, he should either resign and speak or obtain permission from the attorney general's permission. He didn't do any of them,” said the minister.
The Cabinet on Monday approved in principle the draft of Cyber Security Act 2023 with the provisions of maximum Tk 25 lakh in fine for publishing defamatory information through digital media, said Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq. “There will be no provision of jail sentence and the government will impose fine after abolishing the jail term in the Act,” he told reporters after the Cabinet meeting at the Secretariat. He said that related provisions for cyber security included in the Digital Security Act will be retained in the Act without making any changes. Law minister questions citizenship of those who defy constitution According to the Section 29 of the Digital Security Act, if any person publishes or transmits any defamatory information as described in section 499 of the Penal Code through Website or in any other electronic format, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 (three) years, or with fine of Tk 5 lakh. As per the Cyber Security Act-2023, the government has planned to scrap jail terms and impose fines in this section, he said. “From now on the only punishment is fine in this section. But if anyone fails to pay the fine he would have to serve in jail for three-six months.” No dialogue with BNP over unrealistic proposals: Law Minister Earlier on Monday, the Cabinet decided to replace the Digital Security Act with the Cyber Security Act 2023, in which sections of the existing law will be amended. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting in the morning. The name of the law has been changed, and some sections of the law have been amended, the minister added. On May 3, the law minister said that the Digital Security Act will not be repealed but necessary amendments will be made. Govt has plans to modernise Air Force, Navy: Law Minister The DSA was enacted on October 8, 2018 with the aim of preventing the spread of sectarianism, extremism, terrorist propaganda, and hatred against religious or ethnic minorities through social media, print media or any other electronic media. But, since its inception, the DSA has been criticized heavily for its widespread misuse, especially against journalists.
There will be no dialogue with the BNP over any unrealistic proposals, said Law Minister Anisul Huq on Sunday (July 09, 2023). “Election is the only solution and there will be no dialogue with the BNP on any unrealistic proposals, besides the prime minister has directly said that no dialogue will be held with them,” he said while talking to reporters after inaugurating a training course for judges and judicial officers at the Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI). Read more: No dialogue with BNP on caretaker govt: Info Minister Talking about the RPO ('Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2023 of the Election Commission, the power of EC was not curbed rather the rights of people are conserved through the amendment of RPO. Replying to a question about the allegation raised by the BNP that the government has sent a letter to the justice and police to dispose of the cases against the BNP leaders and activities within two months, the law minister said “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government has established the rule of law and there is no doubt in it. If they (BNP) showed any letter over it then there will be discussion. I think they (BNP) are active in making false issues failing to find any other issue. I firmly said that neither any letter has been issued in this regard nor any verbal order.” Read more: Law enforcers are being used to secure ruling party’s interests: Rizvi
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq said on Tuesday the government will consider updating the Digital Security Act (DSA) if needed. “We are taking the criticism into consideration. The law was enacted for ensuring digital security, we will hold onto this aim,” he said. The minister sat in a meeting with the representatives of civil society when the parties discussed this law criticised by many terming it draconian. Many say the DSA is regularly used to harass people. “We discussed their concerns about the DSA. We will also talk about the Data Protection Act. We will again sit to discuss the laws,” he added. Both parties agreed to have another meeting on the DSA on March 30. Read more: Govt to sit with stakeholders on possible changes to DSA: Law Minister TIB Executive Director Dr. Iftekharuzzaman said they demanded the abolition of the DSA. “We pointed out our concerns about the DSA. There is no chance to make the DSA acceptable. The law minister also talked about the misuse of this law. We think this law should be abolished,” he added. They will discuss the new draft of the Data Protection law in another meeting on April 6. “We would like to see the new draft positively. The government has given us an opportunity to review the draft. We hope they will consider suggestions,” said Iftekharuzzaman. Dhaka University International Relations Prof Dr CR Abrar, Supreme Court lawyer barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, academic and activist Rezaur Rahman Lenin, rights activist Md Saimum Reza Talukder, and Sharmin Khan, were present, among others.
The Law Ministry on Thursday received a petition seeking another extended suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail term sent by the Homer Ministry. “The Law Ministry has received a file from the Home Ministry regarding the extension of Khaleda Zia's release term by suspending her sentence. We’ll send it back to the Home Ministry with our opinions,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told UNB. Replying to a question about whether the BNP chief will be allowed to go abroad this time, the minister said, he still did not see the file. “I’ve not received the file yet. So, I can’t tell you what the file contains.” He, however, said the government first released Khaleda in 2020 with two conditions and her release term was extended several times with those conditions. “I think the previous conditions will also remain this time.” The BNP Chairperson younger brother Shamim Eskandar submitted a fresh application recently to the Home Ministry seeking a further extension to the suspended jail term of his sister as her release period will end on March 24 next. In the application, he also urged the government to relax the conditions of the BNP chief’s release and allow her to go abroad for treatment. In the previous applications, Khaleda’s family also sought permission to send her abroad for medical treatment. This is the seventh time the BNP chief’s family sought an extension to her suspended jail term. The government accepted all the previous applications but did not give Khaleda permission to go abroad for treatment. On various occasions, the law minister explained that there was no legal scope to relax the conditions given by the government during Khaleda’s first release through an executive order. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order by suspending her sentence on March 25, 2020, with conditions that she would stay at her Gulshan house and would not leave the country. Since then, her release term has been extended every six months following the family's plea. The government has so far extended the convicted former prime minister’s conditional release six times, with the last extension on September 18, 2022. Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Central Jail as a lower court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. Later, she was found guilty and convicted in another corruption case the same year. The 77-year-old BNP chief has been staying at her Gulshan residence since her release in 2020. She also received treatment at Evercare Hospital in the capital six times since she was infected with Covid-19 in April 2021 As per her physicians, Khaleda has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems. They have long been saying that the BNP chief needs to receive treatment in any advanced medical centre abroad for her critical diseases, including liver cirrhosis.
Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq said Saturday that the Digital Security Act (DSA) is sufficiently necessary in the current reality. “That the DSA was enacted for restricting freedom of expression and media — is not right at all,” he said. The minister said this while addressing a seminar on ‘Secured Digital Society: Role of the state’ organised by the Postal and Telecommunications division at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital, as the chief guest. “Some sections of an act are misused, which is usual,” he acknowledged, saying that criminals always try to commit crimes by bypassing the DSA. The minister observed that police and lawmakers must try to stay two steps ahead of actual criminals who always try to keep themselves one step ahead. Read more: Data protection law to be enacted to protect data, reiterates Law Minister Regarding the proposed Data Protection Act, he said there is no chance to be confused as the Data Protection Act will be constituted after discussion with stakeholders. “We are now global citizens while many crimes are transborder and the ‘Mutual Legal Assistance Act’ was enacted to tackle such crimes,” the minister added. Postal and Telecommunications division Secretary Abu Hena Morshed Zaman, BTRC Commissioner Abu Syed Dilijar Hussain, DMP Additional Commissioner Md Nazmul Islam and ICT Affairs Journalist Rashed Mehedhi among others addressed at the function.
Law Minister Anisul Huq reiterated on Thursday that data protection law will be enacted to protect data, not to control it. He was talking to reporters after the Deputy Commissioners’ Conference 2023 at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital. "We will place the draft of the Data Protection Act in parliament. That does not mean that suggestions from the stakeholders will not be heard,” he said. Read more: US did not impose new sanctions as human rights situation has improved: Law Minister This act is for protecting data and will be enacted as per this policy, he added. Regarding the Digital Security Act (DSA), he said, "We have taken measures to ensure that cases are registered after proper verification and avoid immediate arrest.” The law minister said they have also formed a committee after consulting with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for best practices in this regard. “If necessary, we can certainly amend the Digital Security Act.” Read more: New law in the offing to appoint HC judges: Law Minister He also said the government has taken an initiative to raise the salary of government law officers (PPs and GPs) by dividing the districts into three categories-- large, medium and small. Highlighting the reasons for raising the salary of GPs-PPs, the minister said, 'We have planned to launch the Independent Prosecution Service. However, the entire PP Service will not be an Independent Prosecution Service.” In the session with the DCs, Anisul highlighted the government's initiatives to ease the long-running backlog of cases. “I have talked about alternative dispute resolution and legal aid services.”
Law Minister Anisul Huq said on Wednesday that the US did not impose any new sanctions against the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) as the human rights situation has improved. "Human Rights Watch does not write anything good about anyone. But they have written in their report that the human rights condition has improved in Bangladesh. Donald Lu has said that they would have imposed more sanctions against RAB, but did not do so as Bangladesh's human rights situation has improved," he told reporters at the secretariat after meeting with Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md. Hashim. “We (the US) have seen RAB has done much good. We also understand the necessity of RAB. Since human rights situation has significantly improved, we have not imposed new sanctions. He (Lu) has told me so very clearly,” the law minister said, quoting the US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Donald Lu. Lu visited Bangladesh recently. In response to a question, the law minister said that he did not ask Lu for lifting the existing sanctions against RAB because it must be done in accordance with legal procedures. Also Read: Bangladesh's growing economy entices US to maintain good relations: FM “We are following those procedures,” he added. "We will take action against RAB members if they commit crimes," Huq said of the elite force's reforms. “The reform process is ongoing; it takes time,” he added. Huq also said that during his meeting with Lu, he demanded that Rashed Chowdhury, the fugitive convicted killer of Bangabandhu, be deported to Bangladesh. “He asked me to contact their judiciary branch. I will knock every door to bring him back,” the minister said. Lu arrived in Dhaka on Saturday evening to discuss ways to strengthen the bilateral relationship, expanding economic engagement and to hear on labour and human rights. During his brief stay in Dhaka, Lu met with senior Bangladeshi ministers and officials including the law minister and civil society leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest.
The government is working on enacting a law for appointment of high court judges and it will be landed in Parliament within a few days. Law Minister Anisul Huq made the announcement while replying to opposition Jatiya Party and Gonoforum MPs during discussion on the passage of the 'Bangladesh Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Bill-2023.” During participation on the passage of the Bill, JP and Gonoforum MPs demanded that the government enacts a much-desired law on the appointment of judges at the higher court. Gonoforum MP elected from Sylhet, Mokabbir Khan, said according to the Constitution, the president now appoints judges to the High Court. “In the case of appointment of judges, disqualification is mentioned, but eligibility criteria are not mentioned. In this case, if a specific law is made for the appointment of judges, there will be no opportunity to question the appointment,” he said. JP MP elected from Sunamganj, Pir Fazlur Rahman, said that there was no law on the appointment of an Election Commissioner. “Last year this law was passed, and a new Election Commission was formed based on the law.” Similarly, he said, the appointment of the High Court Judges was also supposed to be enacted. But it hasn't happened yet. “In many cases, appointments are made on political consideration,” he added. Fakhrul Imam, another JP MP elected from Mymensingh, also made the same demand. Later, Law Minister Anisul Haq said he can assure that the government is working to enact a law on the appointment of judges. “I will be able to place the Bill in this regard within a few days,” he also said. The HC judges are now being appointed as per article 95(2) of the Constitution. The Article says the candidate must be a citizen of Bangladesh and have the experience of practising as a Supreme Court advocate for at least 10 years; or have held judicial office in Bangladesh for at least 10 years; or have such qualifications as may be prescribed by law for appointment as a judge of the High Court. Different quarters have long been demanding a guideline to bring transparency and competitiveness in the recruitment process.