10 journalists, lawyers hurt as police charge batons on SC premises
At least 10 journalists and lawyers were injured as police charged batons on them on the Supreme Court premises amid scuffle between pro-Awami League and pro BNP lawyers over the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) election on Wednesday. The two-day voting in SCBA election started around 10 am but it was suspended immediately when some pro-BNP lawyers staged demonstrations demanding formation of election conducting committee led by a neutral person. When the situation turned chaotic, police charged batons on the lawyers and journalists, leaving 10 people injured, said Barrister Kaisar Kamal, BNP law affairs secretary. Barrister Kaisar Kamal said, “Police charged baton on some lawyers including Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon and Ruhul Kuddus Kajal. We have informed it to the Chief Justice.” Jabed Akter, reporter of ATN News, Ibrahim Hossain, cameraperson of Boishakhi TV, Abdullah Al Maruf, multimedia reporters of Manabjamin, Humayun Kabir, cameraperson of ATN Bangla, Solaiman Swapan, cameraman Somoy TV, Mehedi Hasan, cameraman DBC, Fazlul Haque, reporter of Jago News and SM Nur Mohammad, reporter of Ajker Patrika were among the injured. Of them, Jabed Akter was taken to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. A seven-member sub-committee led by senior lawyer Mansurul Haque Chowdhury, was formed earlier for conducting the election. But he resigned from the post on personal ground on March 13. Read more: Supreme Court Bar Association election underway Later, pro-Awami League Ainjibi Parishad formed a sub-committee led by freedom fighter Maniruzzaman while the pro-BNP Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Oikya Panel formed another committee headed by ASM Moktar Kabir. Besides, miscreants tore down 3000 ballot papers sometime on Tuesday night. A tense situation has been prevailing in the Supreme Court area over the issue.
RU Prof murder: SC rejects convicts’ review appeal
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today rejected review petitions of the two death-row convicts in Rajshahi University Professor S Taher Ahmed murder case. A bench of eight justices, led by Chief justice Hasan Foez Siddique, passed the order, rejecting review petitions filed by the two death-row convicts. With the order, there is no bar to the execution of the two condemned convicts, and they will also get a chance to seek mercy from the president. Besides, the Appellate Division also rejected the review petition of another convict, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the case. Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohamamd Morshed were present during the review petition hearing. The two death-row convicts in the case are Dr Mia Mohammad Mohiuddin, associate professor of Rajshahi University’s Geology and Mining department, and Md Jahangir Alam, caretaker of Professor S Taher’s residence. Also read; RU prof murder: SC upholds death penalty of two The two sentenced to life term are Nazmul Alam and Abdus Salam, relatives of caretaker Jahangir Alam. Prof Taher’s body was recovered from a drain near his residence, two days after he went missing on February 1, 2006. On February 3, a murder case was filed at Motihar police station in Rajshahi, following a complaint lodged by his son Sanzid. A Rajshahi Speedy Trial Tribunal on May 22, 2008, sentenced four people to death in the case and acquitted two others, including former RU Chhatra Shibir president Mahbubul Alam Salehi. Later on May 13, 2013, the High Court upheld the death penalty of Mohiuddin and Jahangir, but sentenced Salam and Nazmul to imprisonment until death. After the order, Mohiuddin, Jahangir and Salam moved the apex court.
Supreme Court weighs Biden student loan plan worth billions
The Supreme Court is taking up a partisan legal fight over President Joe Biden's plan to wipe away or reduce student loans held by millions of Americans. The high court, with its 6-3 conservative majority, is hearing arguments on Tuesday in two challenges to the plan, which has so far been blocked by Republican-appointed judges on lower courts. Arguments are scheduled to last two hours but likely will go much longer. The public can listen in on the court’s website. Twenty-six million people have applied, and 16 million have been approved to have up to $20,000 in federal student loans forgiven, the Biden administration says. The program is estimated to cost $400 billion over 30 years. “I’m confident the legal authority to carry that plan is there,” Biden said on Monday, at an event to mark Black History Month. The president, who once doubted his own authority to broadly cancel student debt, first announced the program in August. Legal challenges quickly followed. Also Read: Cheapest countries for Bangladeshi students for higher studies Republican-led states and lawmakers in Congress, as well as conservative legal interests, are lined up against the plan as a clear violation of Biden's executive authority. Democratic-led states and liberal interest groups are backing the Democratic administration in urging the court to allow the plan to take effect. Without it, loan defaults would dramatically increase when the pause on loan payments ends no later than this summer, the administration says. Payments were halted in 2020 as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. The administration says a 2003 law, commonly known as the HEROES Act, allows the secretary of education to waive or modify the terms of federal student loans in connection with a national emergency. The law was primarily intended to keep service members from being worse off financially while they fought in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nebraska and other states that sued say the plan is not necessary to keep the rate of defaults roughly where it was before the pandemic. The 20 million borrowers who have their entire loans erased would get a “windfall” that will leave them better off than they were before the pandemic, the states say. Dozens of borrowers came from across the country to camp out near the court on a soggy Monday evening in hopes of getting a seat for the arguments. Among them was Sinyetta Hill, who said that Biden's plan would erase all but about $500 of the $20,000 or so she has in student loans. “I was 18 when I signed up for college. I didn’t know it was going to be this big of a burden. No student should have to deal with this. No person should have to deal with this,” said Hill, 22, who plans to study law after she graduates from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in May. Biden's plan could meet a frosty reception in the courtroom. The court's conservatives have been skeptical of other Biden initiatives related to the pandemic, including vaccine requirements and pauses on evictions. Those were billed largely as public health measures intended to slow the spread of COVID-19. The loan forgiveness plan, by contrast, is aimed at countering the economic effects of the pandemic. The national emergency is expected to end May 11, but the administration says the economic consequences will persist, despite historically low unemployment and other signs of economic strength. In addition to the debate over the authority to forgive student debt, the court also will confront whether the states and two individuals whose challenge also is before the justices have the legal right, or standing, to sue. Parties generally have to show that they would suffer financial harm and benefit from a court ruling in their favor. A federal judge initially found that the states would not be harmed and dismissed their lawsuit before an appellate panel said the case could proceed. Of the two individuals who sued in Texas, one has student loans that are commercially held and the other is eligible for $10,000 in debt relief, not the $20,000 maximum. They would get nothing if they win their case. A decision is expected by late June.
SC stays HC order on Boi Mela stall allotment for Adarsha Prokashoni
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today stayed the High Court order that had asked the authorities concerned to give stall allotment to Adarsha Prokashoni to participate in the month-long Ekushey Boi Mela on condition. A four-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after hearing a petition. With the latest order, Adarsha Prokashoni will not be allowed to participate in the book fair. Also read: HC asks Bangla Academy for stall allotment to Adarsha Prokashoni on condition Advocate Anik R Haque stood for Adarsha Prokashoni while Senior Advocate Attorney General AM Amin Uddin represented Bangla Academy. On February 8, the HC bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir passed an order asking the authorities concerned to give stall allotment to Adarsha Prokashoni to participate in the month-long Ekushey Book Fair on condition. Counsel Anik said the court asked the Bangla Academy to give the stall allotment on condition that it cannot keep three books —‘Bangalir Mediocrity’r Sandhane’ by Faham Abdus Salam, ‘Unnoyan Bibhram’ by Zia Hasan and ‘Oprotiroddho Unnoyane Obhaboniyo Kothamala’ by Foyez Ahmad Taiyeb. Read More: Tracing the Roots of Ekushey Boi Mela Later, Bangla Academy filed a petition challenging the HC order. On Monday (February 13), the Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice M Enayetur Rahim set February 15 for hearing on the petition. Advocate Anik said that though the books were not blacklisted or banned, the participation of the publishing house was restricted involving the books. Read More: Boi Mela, Pahela Falgun & Valentine's: Visitors around DU campus spoilt for choice The writers of 600 books, which were published from the Adarsha Prokashoni, will be deprived of taking part in the month-long fair, he said. Owner Mahabubur Rahman filed a petition with the HC seeking intervention after authorities disclosed the names of the participating publishing houses except Adarsha Prokashoni on January 12.
'Offensive content against PM': Appellate Division upholds bail of Rajbari Mahila Dal leader
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday (January 15, 2023) upheld the High Court order granting bail to Sonia Akter Smrity, a Mahila Dal leader of Rajbari, in a case filed over posting "offensive" content on Facebook against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. A four-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Hasan Foyez Siddiqui passed the order withdrawing the stay order of the Chamber Court. Senior Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali, Barrister Kayser Kamal and Barrister Ruhul Quddus Kazal appeared in the court for Smriti. Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad Morshed represented the state. Read more: Defaming PM: Chamber Judge stays bail to Rajbari Mahila Dal leader Now there is no bar to the release of the Mahila Dal leader, Barrister Kayser Kamal said. Smrity, wife of Md Khokon Mia of No 3 Beradanga area of Rajbari Sadar, is a member of Jatiyatabadi Mahila Dal’s Rajbari district unit. On November 2 last year, Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division, M Enayetur Rahim, stayed the bail order granted by the High Court till November 7. The High Court granted interim bail to Smrity in the case on November 1. Read more: Rajbari Mohila Dal member arrested under DSA for 'comment on PM' Police arrested Smrity on October 4 in a case filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA) for posting offensive status on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Facebook. Arefin Chowdhury, member secretary of Rajbari district Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote, lodged an FIR against her. On October 5, Judge Kaisun Nahar Surma of Rajbari No 1 Judicial Magistrate Court rejected Smrity’s bail plea and ordered to send her to jail. On October 26, Rajbari Sessions Judge Court also denied bail to Smrity which prompted her to seek bail from the HC. Read More: Fardin's death: Bushra finally granted bail In her bail plea, Smrity requested the HC to consider her as a woman and a mother of two children. According to the FIR, the accused BNP activist made "insulting remarks" about PM Sheikh Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League, from her personal Facebook account in two separate statuses on August 31 and September 28.
Anti-state plot: SC stays bail of BNP leader Aslam
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the HC order granting bail to BNP’s joint secretary general Aslam Chowdhury in a case filed for his alleged involvement in an anti-state plot. Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Jahangir Hossain passed the order. The court also fixed January 30 for hearing the petition in the regular bench of the Appellate Division. Read more: Order cancelling Samrat's bail upheld by Appellate Division Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi represented the state while Advocate Aminul Islam stood for the BNP leader. On January 5, the High Court granted bail to Aslam in the case. Later, the state counsel filed an appeal petition challenging the High Court order. Police arrested Aslam from the capital on May 15, 2016. Later sedition charges were brought against him for his alleged involvement in an anti-state plot on May 25 that year. A case was filed in this connection. Several local newspapers published reports attaching more than one photographs of the BNP leader’s meeting with Israeli influential leader Mendi N Safadi. But, Aslam denied any conspiracy against the government although he admitted to meeting Safadi in a tea party in India. Read more: HC grants bail to ex-LGRD minister’s APS in money laundering case
SC orders GP, Robi, Banglalink to pay Tk 2500 crore
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Grameenphone , Robi and Banglalink to pay dues of Tk 2500 crore as their spectrum acquisition fee including VAT to the government, National Board of Revenue and Bangladesh Telecommunication and Regulatory Commission (BTRC). A five-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after rejecting their petition challenging the High Court order that had rejected their writ petition against imposing VAT (value added tax) on spectrum acquisition fee. Read more: Mobile operators must increase spectrum by December to provide better services to customers Of the total amount, Grameenphone has been asked to pay Tk 1,400 crore, Robi Tk 500 crore and Banglalink Tk 650 crore. Attorney General AM Amin Uddin represented the state while Barrister Reza-e-Rakib and Barrister Mostafizur Rahman Khan stood for BTRC and mobile companies, respectively. Talking to reporters, Attorney General Amin said the government has allocated spectrum for the three mobile operators and fixed charges on it. VAT (value added tax) was also added later by the government on the spectrum fee. The three mobile operators filed a writ petition challenging the VAT which was rejected by the High Court. Read more: BTRC's spectrum auction: Govt earns revenue of Tk 10,645 crore Later, they filed petitions to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the High court order which was also rejected, he said. Now, NBR and BTRC will realise the money as dues including charges and VAT from the three mobile operators.
JS passes Bill replacing 1982 Ordinance for SC judges
The ‘Bangladesh Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Bill, 2023’ was placed in Parliament on Monday with a provision of a monthly special allowance of Tk 70,000 for a retired chief justice. Law minister Anisul Huq moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote. As per the Bill, a “Chief Justice” means the Chief Justice of Bangladesh while “Judge” means a Judge of Appellate Division and High Court Division of the Supreme Court and includes the Chief Justice and Additional Judges. The special allowance will be given to meet expenses such as paying for domestic help, car driver, house guard and maintenance of office-cum-residence. The draft law was brought to formulate a law repealing an ordinance of the military regime as per a judgment of the High Court. The proposed law will replace the Supreme Court Judges (Leave, Pension and Privileges) Ordinance, 1982. It says the leave granted to a judge may, at his option, be either- leave on full salary; or leave on half salary; or leave partly on full salary and partly on half salary. For the purpose of this part, any period of leave on full salary shall be reckoned as double the period of leave on half salary. The aggregate amount of leave granted to a judge during the whole period of service as such shall not exceed, in terms of leave on half salary, 36 months. Read more: JS passes Bangladesh Oil, Gas and Mineral Corporation Bill, 2022 The period of leave granted at any one time shall not exceed, in the case of leave on full salary. The monthly rate of leave salary payable to a judge while on leave on full salary shall be equal to the monthly rate of his salary. The monthly rate of leave salary payable to a Judge while on leave on half salary shall be equal to half the monthly rate of his salary. A judge shall be entitled to draw his leave salary in Bangladeshi currency only. A judge shall, on his retirement, resignation or removal, be paid a pension in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance if he or she has- completed not less than five years of service for pension and attained the retiring age; or completed not less than ten years of service for pension and, before attaining the retiring age, resigned; or completed not less than five years of service for pension and, before attaining the retiring age, either resigned, his resignation having been medically certified to be necessitated by ill health, or been removed for physical or mental incapacity. The chief justice will get Tk 4.50 lakh as injury gratuity and Tk 1.50 lakh for annual pension while the amount for both is Tk 4.50 and Tk 1.40 lakh respectively for justice or additional justice. Read more: 21st Parliament session to continue till Feb 9 The chief justice will get Tk 5 lakh as family gratuity and Tk 1.40 lakh for annual pension while the amount for both is Tk 4 lakh and Tk 1.20 lakh respectively for justice or additional justice. The children of justices will get Tk 20,000 if the mother is not alive while Tk 12,000 if the mother is alive.
Registration of Nazmul Huda's ‘Trinamool BNP’ valid: Appellate Division upholds HC verdict
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Sunday upheld the verdict of the High Court (HC) that declared the registration of the political party, ‘Trinamool BNP’, as valid. A bench of three justices led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order rejecting a leave-to-appeal petition filed by the EC against the HC order, said the plaintiff’s counsel Advocate Shah Manjur Hoque. Advocate Mohammad Yeasin stood for the EC at the court. Read more: ACC case against Nazmul Huda to continue as HC rejects plea He said the HC order to register Trinamool BNP, led by former BNP leader and ex minister Barrister Nazmul Huda, will remain in place from today (Sunday). Earlier on November 4, 2018, an HC bench of Justice Tariq Ul Hakim and Justice Md Shohrowardi directed the authorities concerned to grant Trinamool BNP registration as political party. Read more: Court grants bail to Barrister Nazmul Huda in case involving ex-CJI Sk Sinha Later, the EC moved the SC with the leave-to-appeal against the order after rejecting the party's appeal for registration on June 14, 2018. Being rejected by the EC, Nazmul Huda moved the HC with a writ petition challenging the EC decision.
Appellate Division gets 3 more judges
Three judges of the High Court have been appointed as judges to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday, raising the number of total judges in the Appellate Division to nine. The newly appointed judges are Justice Md Ashfaqul Islam, Justice Md Abu Zafor Siddique and Justice Md Jahangir Hossain. Read more: 3 new Appellate Division Judges take oath The Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry issued a gazette notification in this regard on Thursday after President Abdul Hamid appointed them. The appointment of the judges will come into effect once they take oath. Currently, there are six judges in the Appellate Division, and Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique administered their oath at 4:00 pm on Thursday.