Writ petition filed to scrap TAC law
Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Staff Correspondent

A writ petition filed on Monday urged the High Court to repeal the Truth and Accountability Commission Ordinance, which it claimed was unconstitutional.

Supreme Court lawyer Adilur Rahman Khan, Ubinig executive director Farida Aktar, Awami League's women affairs secretary Dipu Moni and Odhikar acting director Nasiruddin Elan filed the petition with the High Court bench of Justice Khademul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Mashuk Hossain Ahmed.
 
The petition, filed in the form of public interest litigation by advocate Mohammad Asaduzzaman, names the president's secretary, cabinet secretary, home secretary, ACC chairman and TAC chairman as the respondents.
 
The petition will be pursued by barrister Toufique Newaz, advocate Asaduzzaman told bdnews24.com, adding that the hearing may take place Monday or Tuesday.
 
The petition said the ordinance had come into force as an alternative to the disposal of graft cases in the court, which is unconstitutional
 
Beyond appropriate law courts, no other authorities have the jurisdiction to try criminal offences.
 
The petition also said the ordinance had not declared TAC a court, which renders its provision to confiscate property of individuals and similar provisions unconstitutional.
 
Besides, the ordinance also ordained TAC's independence to 'choose and pick' among the offenders.
 
The petition also pointed out how and where the ordinance contravened a number of other constitutional provisions. It argued that the president cannot pass any law during a caretaker government's regime other than those related to the elections or an emergency.
 
The president signed into law the Voluntary Information Provision Ordinance on June 8 which came to be known as the Truth and Accountability Commission ordinance.
 
The writ called the TAC unconstitutional and hence demand for scrapping it.

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