Judges’ service rules: Top court grants government more gazetting time

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Supreme Court Appellate Division has given the government until Nov 5 to issue a gazette clarifying the service rules for lower court judges.

The five-member bench led by Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah approved the petition for a four-week extension by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on Sunday.

The hearing over the judges’ service rules was the first since Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha went on leave. The government has failed to meet 26 deadlines to issue the gazette.

After months of delays, Law Minister Annisul Huq submitted the final draft of the service rules to the Appellate Division for a review, reports bdnews24.

But on Jul 30, Justice Sinha rejected it saying none of the recommendations made by the court had been included in it.

Justice Sinha and other judges of the six-member Appellate Division bench then offered to sit with the state representatives, including the minister and attorney general to finalise the draft.

Following which, Minister Huq told the media that he would sit with the top court judges on Aug 3, but later deferred it citing health issues.

The government submitted a draft of the rules for lower court judges last year to separate the judiciary from the executive.

The separation followed a historic Appellate verdict over a case filed by Judge Masdar Hossain.

It declared the judicial services independent, dissolving the judicial cadre of Bangladesh Civil Service on the grounds that it was incompatible with the constitution.

But the draft of rules submitted by the government last year were declared incompatible with the Masdar Hossain case verdict because it appeared similar to the Government Servants (Discipline and Appeal) Rules 1985.

The Supreme Court then amended the draft and sent it back to the law ministry, asking it to finalise and submit it as a report.