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Appointment of 10 judges to be made permanent PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 July 2008

HC order

Staff Correpsondent

The High Court on Thursday ordered the appointment of ten judges, who served as additional judges but were not confirmed during the BNP-led four-party alliance government, to be made permanent within one month.

The court said that the BNP-led government's decision of not confirming the jobs of the ten judges, despite the then chief justice's recommendations, was illegal and unconstitutional.
Abdus Salam, Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed, Shamsul Huda, Faruque Ahmed, Marji Ul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Hasan Faiz Siddiqui, AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik, Abdul Hye and Nizamul Haque Nasim were appointed to the High Court as additional judges during the Awami League regime.
But their jobs were not confirmed due to what they claimed were political reasons during the BNP-led four party alliance government.
A special HC bench of justices MA Rashid, SK Sinha and Nazmun Ara Sultana issued the ruling Thursday on a writ petition filed by advocate Idrisur Rahman and Abdul Awal in 2003 against the BNP-led government's decision.
According to the HC verdict, the period from when the ten judges left jobs to the dates of joining would be considered as 'special leave without pay' and they would enjoy seniority.
The HC ruling said that according to the constitution, the president appointed additional judges as permanent judges in line with recommendations of the chief justice.
"If the president has any objection to the chief justice's recommendations, the president can send it back to the chief justice for a review. And the chief justice must be given the reasons why his recommendations are not being accepted," the HC bench said.
After the verdict, amicus curiae in the case Kamal Hossain told reporters that the 10 judges proved their efficiency during their service as additional judges.
The chief justice had made recommendations to the president for permanent appointments as their performance was satisfactory.
Turning down the CJ's recommendations in this case was in violation of the constitution, Kamal Hossain said, adding that the HC verdict upheld the constitution.
"It is a significant ruling," jhe said.
Lawyer for the petitioner, barrister Amir-Ul Islam said that the HC verdict would uphold and strengthen the freedom of the judiciary.
"I am very happy at this verdict," judge Hasan Faiz Siddiqui said.
AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury, another of the ten judges, said that the decision of not confirming their jobs was taken completely on political grounds.
"We did not get justice despite being judges. We have now got justice through the HC verdict," he said.
Abdus Salam, who was also deprived of permanent appointment, said: "We never bowed down to any pressure. That was why our jobs had not been regularised."
The HC had earlier issued a rule nisi on the BNP-led government, in 2003, asking it to explain why the decision of not confirming the appointments should not be declared illegal and why the government should not be ordered to appoint them as permanent judges.
Abdus Salam and Mamtaz Uddin Ahmed were appointed for two years as additional judges on Oct 24, 1999. Their jobs were later extended by one more year.
Shamsul Huda, Faruque Ahmed, Marji ul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Hasan Faiz Siddiqui and Abdul Hye were appointed on Feb 22 in 2001 for two years. But their jobs were not confirmed after the two years ended.
AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Nizamul Haque Nasim were appointed on July 3 in 2001 for two years.
In Thursday's ruling, the HC observed that there was a provision in the constitution that the president would appoint judges in line with the recommendations of the chief justice. But the provision was scrapped in the constitution's fourth amendment. Nevertheless, the tradition continued.
This tradition was once broken in 1994. But following this judges were again appointed in line with the CJ's recommendations.
The court also said the CJ and other Supreme Court justices should be free to carry out their duties.

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