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Contempt ordinance approved in principle PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 04 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

The council of advisers has in principle approved the draft of a contempt of court ordinance making provisions for no punishment for contempt that will not impede justice delivery.

‘The draft ordinance has been approved in principle. The council of advisers asked the law ministry to further scrutinise the draft,’ a government spokesman said on Sunday, after the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chief Adviser’s Office.

Presided over by the chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, the meeting also approved the Money Laundering Ordinance 2007, redefining money laundering and widening the purview of the proposed law.

The meeting approved in principle the Rangpur University Ordinance 2008 to set up a university in the northern district and the Bangladesh Telecom Company Limited Ordinance 2008 to turn the state-run telephone and telegraph authorities into a public limited company.

Attended by most of the advisers and special assistants to the chief adviser, the meeting also had discussions on the next meeting of the interim cabinet to be held in Barisal on March 6 to review the government’s relief and rehabilitation programmes undertaken after the devastation of cyclone Sidr.

The advisers will visit the affected areas beforehand to brief the meeting on the ground reality, sources in the Chief Adviser’s Office said. The chief adviser will also visit the affected areas he visited immediately after Sidr had pounded the southern region, said Syed Fahim Munaim, the press secretary to the chief adviser.

On the contempt law, Fahim Munaim said the proposed law suggested a maximum of six months of imprisonment and financial penalty of Tk 20,000 or both. The draft ordinance defines contempt of court as any wilful act, statement or expression by words or visible signs that may be considered a violation of any verdict, decree, order, writ or warrant issued by a court, or undermine any court, or may obstruct the process of justice.

It will repeal the Contempt of Court Act 1926 once the ordinance comes into effect, said Fahim. On the money laundering ordinance, he said the council of advisers suggested redefinition of money laundering and covering in the law few other offences such as corruption, bribery, fraudulence, extortion, illegal arms trading, smuggling, murder, abduction, taking hostage, repression on women and children and human trafficking.

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