Chief Justice in Parliament
Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Chief justice A B M Khairul Haque set a curious precedence visiting the parliament in session at a time when the legislature and judiciary are in a tussle over accountability.

Haque was seen at the audience corner, reserved for high government officials, during the inauguration of the eighth session of the current parliament on Tuesday. President Zillur Rahman was giving the customary speech at that time.

Speaker Abdul Hamid entertained him following the speech when the session was adjourned until Feb 1.

The matter of accountability of the judiciary and the legislature — the question of who was accountable to whom — came to the fore earlier this month following the claim by chief justice at a full court meeting on Jan 3 that the Supreme Court was not accountable to parliament.

The judges also agreed that the parliamentary committee's summons on the Supreme Court registrar to appear before it amounted to interference into the independence of the judiciary.

Awami League MP and chief of parliamentary body on law ministry Suranjit Sengupta on Dec 20 had said the law ministry was working to enact a law to obligate any government official to appear before the parliamentary committee mandatory.

Suranjit on Jan 4 claimed Bangladesh's parliament was sovereign, adding that "it's not a rubber-stamp parliament".

Afterwards, several politicians from the ruling and opposition parties gave conflicting opinions about sovereignty of the parliament and judiciary.

The chief justice on Jan 15 said that neither parliament, nor administration, nor the judiciary is accountable to each other, but only to the people.

BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed on Jan 17 echoed Haque and proposed to assist the government to ensure sovereignty of the parliament and the judiciary's accountability to it.

Source: bdnews24.com

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