Law Minister Anisul Haq on Sunday termed a ‘plot to shatter the rule of law’ the chaos created by the defence lawyers during the indictment of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and seven others in two graft cases.
“The behavior of the defence lawyers during the hearing of the cases against the former opposition leader is nothing but a conspiracy to shatter the rule of law,” he said.
The minister was speaking at a ‘Meet the Press’ program organized by the Law Reporters’ Forum at the High Court.
A Dhaka court on Wednesday framed charges against Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman and seven others in the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases rejecting their time petition.
Anisul alleged that the BNP lawyers tried to assault the judge, hurled abuses at him and created chaos which is absent in a civilised society. “I’ve never seen such behaviour in my professional life.”
Referring to cases filed against Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman before the country’s independence from Pakistan, he said, “Bangabandhu had been shown arrested in new cases after he was granted bail in a case. But his lawyers had not created such a chaos.”
The minister also said charges against the BNP chief could not be read out and the judge had to leave the courtroom due to the chaos. “And now BNP is saying that the charges were not read out.”
Asked about a different Secretariat for the judiciary, the minister said the process to constitute a different Secretariat for the judiciary is underway. “But I won’t say it will be constituted right now. We’re working on the matter by checking the laws. At least, an outline will be made during the tenure of this government.”
About the guidelines for appointing judges, he said: “We’re discussing the matter. A decision will be taken after the discussion.”
Asked whether it is possible to punish someone for contempt of court under the Section 108 of the Constitution, as the law in this regard has been repealed, the minister said, “It’s not right that the contempt of court law has been repealed.”
“There had been a law before the cancellation of the contempt of court law. After the High Court had repealed the law, the courts are acting in this regard using the previous one,” he said.
About bringing back the convicts in the Bangabandhu murder case, Anisul said the task is not easy the countries that have given them shelter known as terror-financing ones like Pakistan and Libya.
He, however, said talks are on in this regard.
In reply to a query about measures to stop the extrajudicial killings, the minister the government will take necessary steps against those who are involved in such killings after departmental probe.
About the ban on the politics of Jamaat-e-Islami, he said the matter is under trial with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and steps will be taken after its completion.
He also ruled out an allegation made by a senior lawyer that journalists write in one way if they are paid while in another way when they are not paid. “In my long professional life, I haven’t seen such incident and I do not believe this,” he said.
Anisul terms chaos in court bid to shatter rule of law