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Rafique slates different judgments on same charge

Edit Date:10/19/2010 12:00:00 AM

 Staff Correspondent

Barrister Rafique ul Huq yesterday said different courts give different judgments on the same charge, as the judges act out of their political bias.

The senior lawyer also noted that human rights in a country cannot be ensured unless the higher courts act independently.

“The rule of law must be there to ensure human rights.

And the High Court is a tool to establish the rule of law,” he added.

Unfortunately, the judgment in a case depends not on the case's merit but on the judges' preference for respective political parties, observed Huq. “How will human rights be ensured when people these days name different higher courts after different political parties?”

Citing two cases against daily Amar Desh acting editor Mahmudur Rahman, he said a court sentenced Mahmudur to six months in jail and fined Tk 1 lakh, while another court on the same charge fined him Tk 100 and a day's imprisonment for failure to pay the fine.

He made the remarks addressing a session of the two-day national conference titled “Bangladesh Tomorrow”. The session titled “Human Rights, Democracy & Governance in Bangladesh” was held at a city hotel.

The lawyer said the courts have to be independent and courageous. They have to discharge duties without bias towards any party.

The Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD), an NGO, arranged the two-day programme, which ended yesterday.

Borhan Uddin Khan, professor of law at Dhaka University, presented the keynote paper at the session moderated by CSD Secretary General Mahfuz Ullah.

The speakers included Piash Karim, professor of economics at Brac University, New Age Editor Nurul Kabir, Bangladesh Human Rights Foundation Chairman Elina Khan and politician Mahmudur Rahman Manna.

They pointed out custodial deaths, torture on remand and extra-judicial killings by the Rapid Action Battalion are pulling democracy and governance from behind.


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