Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on Wednesday said more than 90 percent people trust judiciary for disciplined function of the judges.
He made the comment during hearing on an appeal filed by the government against the High Court verdict that declared illegal parliament’s authority to impeach any apex court judge on the ground of physical incapacity and moral turpitude.
The Supreme Court is apparently unhappy with the 16th amendment that vested judge impeach authority in the lawmakers or parliament.
Appearing for the government, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam argued that parliament has supremacy over all organs of the state. He said the lawmakers represent the people who are true owners of the country. The parliament should have the authority to impeach an apex court judge on specific ground.
Mahbubey Alam tried to establish that the constitution adopted in 1972 empowered parliament to impeach apex court judges, but parliament lost such power by another amendment to the constitution. But the constitution has got back 1972 feature in respect of judge impeachment.
The Chief Justice said the judge impeachment power of the lawmakers may be abused and it is a barrier to the independence of judiciary. The Supreme Court prefers Supreme Judicial Council System, which was later introduced by amending constitution, to impeach apex court judges for physical incapacity and moral turpitude. As per this system, the Supreme Judicial Council is constituted with some senior judges of the Supreme Court who decide whether a judge should be impeached or not.
Attorney General said lawmakers are representatives of people and a mass hearing should be arranged to know public perception about judiciary.
In reply, the Chief Justice said more than 90 percent people have faith in judiciary.
Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister M Amir Ul Islam, AF Hassan Ariff, Barrister Ajmamul Hossain, Fida M Kamal and Advocate Manzill Murshid were present as amici curiae.
Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed the wit petition challenging the legality of the 16th amendment.