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SC stays HC order on arrest of govt officials

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 2 September, 2022 12:00 AM
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The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed the High Court's order which repealed the provision of prior permission for the arrest of government employees in criminal cases.

A full bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order following a petition filed by the government seeking a stay of the HC order.

The SC stayed the HC order till October 23 and asked the government to file a leave-to-appeal petition by this time.

Rejecting the government's stay petition, the Chamber Bench, the previous day, referred the matter to the full bench for decision.

Earlier, on August 25, the High Court ruled that no prior permission is required to arrest a public servant on criminal charges. Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo of a division bench passed the order, 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 Section 41(1) illegal on the grounds that it violates the Constitution and fundamental rights.

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

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

The HRPB filed the writ petition with the High Court challenging the legality of the provision requiring 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.

Manzill Murshid argued that Section 41 (1) of the Government Service Act 2018 is contradictory to Article 27 of the Constitution, which stipulates: "All citizens are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection of the law.

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