Wednesday, January 24, 2018 | ePaper
Rules for lower court SC order on Gazette Jan 2
The Supreme Court (SC) on Wednesday said that it would pass order on January 2 in 2018 on the published gazette on the disciplinary rules for the lower court judges.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by the Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah fixed the date.
Appellate Division said, addressing the Attorney General, "Today one judge of the bench is not present. But it should be heard in the full bench. So, not today, we will hear this matter on January 2."
Meanwhile, on December 11, the government published the much-talked gazette on the disciplinary rules for the lower court judges. But widespread criticism is growing soon after the gazette had been published, for it handed executive controlling power over the lower court judges.
On December 10, 2017, the Appellate Division extended the time till December 13, 2017, the last hearing day of the Masdar Hossain case, known as the judiciary separation case.
Appellate Division gave 12 directives in the verdict of Masdar Hossain case. To formulate the rules determining the guidelines of lower court judges was among those directives.
The Law Ministry sent a draft rules on May 7 last year to the SC, which amended that draft, but the ministry didn't publish a gazette yet.
On November 16, Law Minister Anisul Huq met five judges of the Appellate Division of the SC and discussed the rules and then told the journalists that the problem regarding issuance of a gazette notification determining the discipline of lower court judges had been resolved.
While presiding over the Appellate Division bench, Justice Sinha had expressed annoyance and dissatisfaction several times at the government's failure to issue a gazette notification on the rules. Article 116 of the original charter of 1972 had empowered the SC to decide on the posting, promotion and leave of lower court judges. The top court had also control over the magistrates' exercise of judicial powers and could discipline the judicial service staff when necessary.
Over the years, this article has been amended several times, curtailing the apex court's powers. Currently, the powers to control and discipline subordinate courts are vested in the President, who exercises these powers in consultation with the SC.
However, according to article 48(3) of the Constitution, the president acts on the advice of the Prime Minister. This gives the government ample scope to exercise power over the judiciary.