All sections of people in the country want the dignity of the apex court to be protected for the welfare of the nation. Various recent unexpected incidents centring the judiciary have prompted countrymen to feel an urge to protect the image of the Supreme Court. The activities of the court are being scrutinised and evaluated by all quarters in the country. The beneficiaries of the court orders become happy with the judiciary while feeling of people losing cases is different.
Experts think that the image of the apex court, which is the final authorities justice-seekers can move, cannot be tarnished. But unfortunately the nation had to see the judiciary to be criticised by some people in the parliament and on the street. Criticism of courts and judges are prejudicial to the independence and dignity of the judiciary. People concerned should keep the apex court above any controversy. The judges of the apex court should also be brave and play due role in protecting dignity of the import institution.
Recently, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam moved the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking a two day’s stay on the High Court order that granted bail to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case but failed. The state counsels are unhappy with the bail granted to the BNP chief.
Later, Anti-Corruption Commission’s lawyer Khurshid Alam prayed to the Supreme Court for a stay on the bail. He told the apex court that he is yet to get the certified copy of the High Court order, and thus, he is yet to know the grounds and reasons for the bail. He wanted the bail to be stayed.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain permitted the counsels for the state and the commission to file a leave-to-appeal petition against the High Court order. The apex court also fixed today (Sunday) for hearing the petitions. The defence lawyers shouted in the court alleging that the court took decision on the basis of the arguments of the commission and state lawyers without hearing their arguments.
Senior lawyers and BNP leaders like barrister Moudud Ahmed, advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain and former attorney general AJ Mohammad Ali, Supreme Court Bar Association president Zainul Abedin and former additional attorney general Abdur Rezzaq Khan were present at the time when the lawyers protested the apex court’s decision and created pandemonium. Later, BNP at a press conference alleged that the apex court’s decision manifested the government’s intention.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain is appreciated by all for his honesty and impartiality. Departure of two of his predecessors (two former chief justices) was disdainful. The situations which prompted them to resign from job and triggered reactions among people were not suitable for the dignitary of the judiciary, one of three important institutions of the state. The Supreme Court arena was tense and confrontational during different regimes for various reasons. The arena also witnessed kicking at the door of the chief justice’s chamber, commotion and boycotting programmes at times. The residents of justices of the apex court were bombed on different occasions. The justices have been severely criticised by different quarters including lawmakers and politicians. These sorts of things were never good for a sovereign and strongest apex court.
Analysts think all, rising above personal and political difference and narrowness, should extend their support to the court to run the judicial activities as per the constitution. Nowadays the country cannot produce skilled lawyers like veteran lawyers and judicious justice like Justice Syed Mahbub Murshed. Now is the time for the justices and lawyers of the country to think about the matter as it is related to the most important pillar of the state. To restore faith and confidence in the apex court, the justices need to take bolder steps besides extending helping hands to the court by all including lawyers.
According to analysts, the number of writ petitions and hearing has been reduced in the highest court nowadays. Now is the time for the apex court by justices, lawyers, political force and the executive branch of the state to work for removing the misgiving among people about the court.
The apex court issues many directives and verdicts in the interests of the country and the people, but these are identified as neglected ones because of negligence for them for long. The Supreme Court issued a rule on police asking them to give their identity before arresting anyone and to produce the arrestee before the court within 24 hours of his arrest, but the rule is now widely neglected. There is a ban from the apex court on plying motor bike on footpaths, but traffic police could not implement the verdict. There are verdicts instructing the authorities to clean and reclaim the Buriganga and Shitalakkhya rivers, but these are not being executed at all. Police, administration, traffic division and elected bodies are not lagging behind each other to neglect the directives and verdicts of the apex court. Analysts said the parties concerned have to cooperate with the executive branch to execute and prevent negligence of the verdicts from the Supreme Court. It is the justices who have to come forward to restore the image of the Supreme Court.
• Peer Habibur Rahman is the chief editor of purbapashchim.news