Time will say who heads next caretaker govt: Justice Khairul

May 18, 2011

The immediate-past chief justice, ABM Khairul Haque, who had ruled against the caretaker government system, said on Tuesday that time would say who would head the caretaker government during the next general elections.
As he made his last visit to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, he was asked by newsmen whether he thought he would take charge of the next caretaker government.
‘I leave it to Almighty Allah. No one can predict his destiny. Time will say who will head the [next] caretaker government. Law will take its own course,’ he said.
About the caretaker government issue, Justice Khairul said, ‘We have tried to make clear the legal aspects of the issue in the verdict on the 13th Amendment to the constitution.’
A seven-member Appellate Division bench, headed by Justice Khairul Haque, on May 10 prospectively declared void the 13th Amendment that had made provisions for an election-time caretaker government.
The court, however, said that the next two general elections could be held under caretaker governments.
‘The parliament, however, in the meantime, is at liberty to bring necessary amendments excluding the provisions for making the former chief justices or the Appellate Division judges as the head of the non-party caretaker government,’ the court said.
Asked about the ongoing debate over re-empowering parliament to impeach judges, Justice Khairul said, ‘Parliament can make a final decision on the issue.’
‘In many countries, the parliament impeaches the judges, he added.      
Independence of the judiciary depends on the judges, he said adding, ‘If a judge is independent-minded, none can influence him.’
He said, ‘A good judge can never become popular.’
Addressing a seminar, Justice Khairul said that the law minister’s remarks that the judges never do their work timely causing delay in disposal of the cases, was partly true.
The seminar on ‘budgetary allocations for law and justice: issues and trends’ was organised by Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affair at CIRDAP auditorium.
The former chief justice said that the Supreme Court’s absolute authority over the lower judiciary, which was in the original constitution framed in 1972, should be restored.
‘Many things can’t be done timely as we have to approach the law and finance ministries for funds,’ he said. ‘If the judiciary is considered independent, it should also have financial independence,’ he added.
Justice Khairul Haque also said that independence of the judiciary was necessary to protect law. ‘Criminals must be punished,’ he added.
He also called for restoring the original Article 116 of the constitution, framed in 1972, that had empowered the Supreme Court to control and supervise lower courts.
The government has reprinted the constitution which restored Article 116 as it was before the 5th Amendment.
The reprinted constitution said, ‘the control (including the power of posting, promotion and grant of leave) and discipline of persons employed in the judicial service and magistrates exercising judicial functions shall vest in the president.’


Courtesy of New Age

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