'SC accountable to none'

The Supreme Court is not accountable to any parliamentary standing committee for its activities or 'anybody' else, according to a consensus reached by top judges of the court.

bdnews24.com
Published : 19 Jan 2011, 10:53 AM
Updated : 19 Jan 2011, 10:53 AM
Dhaka, Jan 19 (bdnews24.com) — The Supreme Court is not accountable to any parliamentary standing committee for its activities or 'anybody' else, according to a consensus reached by top judges of the court.
The consensus came in black and white from a full court meeting of the Supreme Court on Jan 3, a high official of the court, requesting anonymity, revealed it to bdnews24.com on Wednesday.
"There is no doubt that a parliamentary standing committee is a highly revered committee. But It should not summon or invite any official of the Supreme Court to give explanation on the court's activities," the written consensus says.
It further says: "If the Supreme Court fulfils the committee's desire to have the court's explanation, it'll be contradictory to the fundamental principles of differentiation of power."
"The government can expect the Supreme Court's advice on issues related to the lower court's discipline and control," it added.
The next full court meeting will be held in the court's conference room at 3pm on Thursday.
Chief justice A B M Khairul Haque on Jan 15 said neither parliament, nor administration and nor judiciary is accountable to each other, but only to the people.
On Jan 8, BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said the judges should be accountable to parliament.
Chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry, Suranjit Sengupta on Jan 4, said parliament was indeed sovereign and suggested that it was not acting as a front body of the government. "It's not a rubber-stamp parliament," he asserted.
Just a day before, top judges of the Supreme Court at a full court meeting, chaired by the chief justice, said they believed Bangladesh's parliament was not sovereign. And so the court is not bound to answer to the parliamentary standing committee.
Thursday's meeting is also likely to discuss and decide on the promotion of 16 joint district judges to additional district judges, a reliable source confirmed bdnews24.com.
bdnews24.com/corr/ost/mr/2144h
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher