44 ordinances fit the bill: Shafiq
Wednesday, 04 February 2009

Dhaka, Feb 3 (bdnews24.com)—Law minister Shafiq Ahmed said that he had instructed his ministry to prepare 44 of the ordinances as bills which would be placed in parliament for passage.

"The fate of the rest of the ordinances will be decided by the House," Shafiq Ahmed told bdnews24.com after a meeting with legal experts.

The experts told a special committee Tuesday that most of the 122 ordinances made by the caretaker government were "not justifiable".

M Zahir, one of the experts, told reporters after the meeting: "Primarily we talked in favour of passing some 45 ordinances at a liberal count. But now we are taking a hard look at those 45."

The experts told the parliamentary special committee that most of the ordinances were in violation of the Constitution.

They said, under Article 58 (D) of the constitution, the caretaker government could not make any ordinance unless it was necessary for holding elections and looking after routine affairs of the government.

"If we consider promulgation of the ordinances in the light of Article 58 (D), most of them will have to go," former attorney general Mahmudul Islam told bdnews24.com after the meeting.

The special committee will meet again on Feb. 15 to discuss the issue further.

Zahir said Article 83 of the Constitution states parliament is the sole authority to impose taxes. "But the interim government imposed taxes for two years."

"I proposed at the meeting that we could mention in the preamble of the bill that we were ratifying [their imposition of tax] but we are not approving it," said Zahir.

"Because, the taxes have already been levied," he said.

"It would set a legal guideline for incoming caretaker governments and for the whole nation," said the lawyer.

Zahir also mentioned Article 59 of the Constitution which states that functions of the Upazila should be decided by an act of parliament, but the interim government made an Upazila ordinance going beyond their jurisdiction.

"We all are of the same opinion that the Upazila elections can be validated, however, through a savings clause," said Zahir.

Presided over by the committee's chairman Rahmat Ali, the meeting was attended by law minister Shafiq Ahmed, Syeda Sajeda Chowdhury, Tofail Ahmed, Suranjit Sengupta, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MK Anwar, Rashed Khan Menon, Fazle Rabbi Mia, Mujibur Rahman, Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Abdul Matin Khasru, Nurul Islam Sujon, Fazle Noor Taposh.

Advocates Toufique Nawaz and Azmalul Hossain also attended the meeting as legal experts.

Source: bdnews24.com

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