Bangladesh Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 25 April 2016 approved a draft of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Judge (Investigation Act) 2016. It will empower the Parliament to impeach a judge in the Supreme Court, if allegation of misconduct or incapacity is proved.
The approval was made under a constitutional obligation as Parliament on 17 September 2014 had unanimously passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill, empowering the Parliament to remove Supreme Court judges for misbehaviour and incapacity.
The same law will be applicable for physical and mental incapability of a judge.
Salient Features of the draft law
• The draft law enables citizens with evidence to submit allegations of misconduct or incapacity against a Supreme Court judge to the Speaker of Parliament.
• The speaker will constitute a three-member independent investigation committee with a former chief justice being its head along with an ex-attorney General and an eminent citizen of the country or a jurist as its members to probe into the allegation.
• The committee’s recommendations will be placed before Parliament which will forward its recommendations to the President for necessary action.
• About false and baseless allegation of misconduct against any judge of the Supreme Court, the person concerned will be jailed for two years and fine of maximum up to 5 lakh takas.
The draft law was approved aimed at reverting to the main law of the original constitution of 1972 to ensure a legislative process regarding removal of the Supreme Court judges like all other democratic nations around the world.
And a similar law was in the original constitution of 1972 and it was changed after 1975 incorporating a provision of forming Supreme Judicial Council. Such council does not exist at present in any country except Pakistan.
The draft law has been prepared after detailed consultations with stakeholders concerned, including the judges of the Appellate and High Court Divisions. After further discussions with the relevant stakeholders, the draft law will again be placed before the cabinet for its final approval.
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When: 25 April 2016