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Supreme Court judges can use the prefix ‘Justice’ on their national identity cards

33Election Commission is correcting the National Identity Cards of three citizens to introduce ‘Justice’ as a title for the first time in line with a High Court decision.

The applications by High Court Justices Naima Haider and Mirza Hussain Haider, and that of his wife to change their names to include the title were approved by the EC on Wednesday.

Election Commissioner Abdul Mobarak told bdnews24.com: “We record data of their profession, titles during voter registration. But they are not shown on the ID cards.”

Only Supreme Court judges and former judges will be eligible to use the title on their NIDs, according to the verdict that resulted from a 2011 plea.

“We are bound legally to include the title as the High Court verdict instructs us to use the prefix Justice in front of the names of all sitting and retired judges of Appellate Division and High Court Division.”

However, the election commissioner added there is no scope to add professional prefixes in the national IDs following the 2013 amendment to the law.

‘Name’ has been defined to be as mentioned in the applicants birth certificate or primary school certificate or junior school certificate or secondary school certificate or similar examination certificates.

“However, the definition will not be applicable for names included in the voters’ list before its addition to the law.”

Petitioner Advocate Manzill Murshid told bdnews24.com the court on Jun 16, 2011 gave a rule nisi to include the prefix in front of the names of the judges. On Jan 16, 2012, it was declared rule absolute.

“The petition was filed considering the status of the Supreme Court judges who are holding a constitutional post. The Justice prefix is included in front of their names in their passport and all other places. Considering that, the ruling instructed for including the prefix in their national ID cards.”

Three months back, Justices Naima Haider and Mirza Hussain Haider submitted an application to have their National ID cards revised along with a copy of the verdict and order, and their passports.

Wife of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider, Sadia Raushon Jahan Haider, also applied for revision, seeking inclusion of the prefix in front of her husband’s name in her national ID card.

EC’s legal wing Joint Secretary Md Shahjahan said, “There was no legal bar to include titles in names when the order was given. So the order is being implemented. So not only these three, all the Justices can revise their national IDs adding the prefix before their names.”

Director General Sultanazzuman Md Saled Uddin, who heads the national ID registration division, told bdnews24.com the scope to add professional prefix with names is applicable for only the Supreme Court judges and not the others.

“The certificate will carry the name at birth. Professional titles come in later. Titles or profession cannot be part of the name.

“The professional identity is there in the archives and will be tagged with the national ID number and bar code. It won’t be visible on the card.”

The NID DG added if everyone were to be given the facility, the law would have to be amended again.