Draft ready, likely to come up during budget session: Law minister
The draft of a law to determine specific rules for removal of Supreme Court (SC) judges on grounds of incapacity and misbehaviour is set to make its way to the Parliament for passage in the Budget session, Law minister Anisul Huq said yesterday.
“The Law ministry has already prepared the draft of a law in this regard,” the Law minister said while speaking to reporters after attending a programme at the Judicial Administration Training Institute in Dhaka.
He, however, said that the independence of the judiciary will not be hampered due to any amendment in the Constitution.
“The independence of the judiciary will not be hampered after the charter is amended to restore Article 96 of the Constitution. We believe the amendment would enhance the benefits the people get from an independent judiciary,” he said, adding, “I hope the next Parliament session will pass the amendment Bill. Later, a law would be enacted in this regard”.
The Law minister had earlier observed that the President can be impeached through Article 52 of the Constitution and Section 74(2) of the Constitution is applicable for the Speaker’s removal.
Though the PM can be removed through a no-confidence motion by MPs, Supreme Court judges were an exception, as they could not be removed by Parliament.
“According to the Constitution, after the people, Parliament is the source of power. Parliament is supreme and sovereign, and represents the people. So, all the people, including the judges, must be accountable to the Parliament,” the Law minister asserted.
He further noted that the judiciary of the country was independent and that there was no doubts over its independence. “But there should be a provision for impeachment by Parliament to ensure transparency and judges’ accountability,” he added.
Once a law is enacted in this regard, allegations against a judge will entail the Parliament issuing a show cause notice to the judge. After getting an explanation from the judge, the Parliament will hear arguments from the complainant and the judge and then decide on the accused judge, the Law minister informed.
On Sep 17 last year, the Parliament had passed the 16th constitutional amendment bill, empowering itself, amid widespread criticism, of the ability to impeach SC judges for “misbehaviour and incapacity”.