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SC scraps 5th amendment of constitution with modification

Edit Date:7/28/2010 12:00:00 AM

The verdict paves the way for restoration of preamble and articles 8, 9, 10, 12, 25, 38 and 142 of ‘72 constitution UNB, Dhaka The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court Tuesday upheld the High Court verdict that scrapped the 5th Amendment of the Constitution, with certain modifications recognizing citizens of Bangladesh as Bangladeshis. The modified judgment of the six-member Appellate Division paved the way for restoration of the Preamble and Articles 8, 9, 10, 12, 25, 38 and 142 of the 1972 Constitution. On August 29 in 2005, the High Court in a historic verdict declared illegal the 5th amendment to the constitution, meaning that the rules of Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem, and Maj General Ziaur Rahman from August 15, 1975 to April 9, 1979 were unlawful. In the first paragraph of the Preamble, it will now be read as "a historic struggle for national liberation" instead of "a historic war for national independence. " The verdict also restored in the 2nd paragraph of the Preamble of the original Constitution the words "Pledging that the high ideals of nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism" which inspired our heroic people to dedicate themselves to, and our brave martyrs to sacrifice their lives in, the national liberation struggle, shall be the fundamental principles of the Constitution. It replaces the words "Pledging that the high ideals of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, which inspired our heroic people to dedicate themselves to, and our brave martyrs to sacrifice their lives in, the war of national independence, shall be the fundamental principles of the Constitution. The Article 8 (1) of the 1972 Constitution will revive the words "The principles of nationalism, socialism, democracy and secularism, together with the principles derived from them as set out in this Part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy." It replaces the words inserted through the 5th amendment by the words "The principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice," together with the principles derived as set out in this Part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy." The Appellate Division verdict deleted the Clause (1A) of Article 8 saying that absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all actions". The verdict paves the way for restoration of Article 12 of the original Constitution that says: The principle of secularism shall be realized by the elimination of - (a) communalism in all its forms. Following the verdict, Article 38 with proviso will be restored. Article 38 says "Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of morality or public order: "Provided that no persons shall have the right to form, or be a member or otherwise take part in the activities of, any communal or other association or union which in the name or on the basis of any religion has or its object, or pursues, a political purpose." In their observations the Appellate Division judges put on record their total disapproval of Martial Law and suspension of the Constitution or any part thereof in any form. "The perpetrators of such illegalities should also be suitably punished and condemned so that in future no adventurist, no usurper, would dare to defy the people, their Constitution, their Government, established by them with their consent," the verdict said. The Appellate Division, however, said: It is the Parliament which can make law in this regard. Let us bid farewell to all kinds of extra constitutional adventure for ever. It said: "We are of the view that in the spirit of the Preamble and also Article 7 of the Constitution the Military Rule, direct or indirect, is to be shunned once for all." "Let it be made clear that Military Rule was wrongly justified in the past and it ought not to be justified in future on any ground, principle, doctrine or theory whatsoever as the same is against the dignity, honour and glory of the nation that it achieved after great sacrifice; it is against the dignity and honour of the people of Bangladesh who are committed to uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the nation by all means."

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