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No prior permission required to arrest govt officials: HC

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 25th August, 2022 10:56:49 AM
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The High Court has ruled that no prior permission is required to arrest a public servant on criminal charges.

The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order on Thursday, striking down Section 41 (1) of the Government Service Act 2018.

As per the law, law enforcers needed to obtain permission from the government or the appointing authorities to arrest any public servant accused in a criminal case.

The court, which came up with the order following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB), termed the Section 41(1) illegal on the grounds that it violates the Constitution and fundamental rights.

Such provision had indemnified a particular group and encouraged corruption, it observed.

On Wednesday, the HC heard arguments from the lawyers of the petitioner, government counsel and Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer on the controversial provision.

The government published a gazette on the law on September 26, 2019 and it came into effect on October 1 of that year.

The HRPB filed the writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of the provision to take prior permission of the government or the hiring authorities to arrest a public servant on criminal charges.

Advocate Manzill Murshid, president of HRPB, appeared for the petitioner while Deputy Attorney General Aurobinda Kumar Roy stood for the state and Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan argued for the ACC.

Speaking about the judgment, Manzill Murshid said the HRPB filed the writ petition challenging the legality of the Section 41 (1) in public interest as it contradicts Article 27 of the Constitution which stipulates: “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law.”

Earlier, the HC scrapped Section 32(A) of the ACC Act 2013 which required prior permission to sue the government officials, he said.

Khurshid Alam said the HC declared Section 41 (1) of the Public Servant Act 2018 ultra vires to the Constitution.