President Abdul Hamid on Monday assented to the much-talked-about ‘Constitution (16th Amendment) Bill, 2014 empowering parliament to remove judges, and three other bills passed in the third session of the parliament.
The three others bills the President singed into laws are Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Bill, 2014, Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control (Amendment) Bill, 2014 and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh Bill, 2014, said a handout.
Parliament on Wednesday passed the ‘Constitution (16th Amendment) Bill, 2014 without any opposition, paving the path for restoring its power to remove Supreme Court judges.
The bill was passed in Parliament by 327-0 as the Speaker put it in the division vote.
Meanwhile, the BNP-led alliance enforced a daylong countrywide hartal in protest against the 16th Amendment to the constitution alleging that the new law will be misused by the ruling party to gain its political purpose.
The bill was placed in Parliament on September 7 seeking to re-empower Parliament to remove SC judges on the grounds of proved misbehavior or incapacity, and then it was sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry for further scrutiny.
The committee completed the scrutiny of the bill holding only two meetings on two subsequent days and placed its report in Parliament deleting its preamble and inserting a change in article 96 (3).
In clause 3 of the article 96, the report says, “Parliament may by law regulate the procedure in relation to a resolution under clause 2 and for investigation and proof of the misbehavior or incapacity of a Judge.”
The clause 2 of the article says, “A judge shall not be removed from his office except by an order of the President passed in pursuant to a resolution of Parliament supported by a majority of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of Parliament, on the ground of proved misbehavior or incapacity.”
When the Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs Minister Anisul Huq placed the bill in the House on September 7, the clause 3 of the article 96 stated that Parliament shall by law regulate the procedure in relation to a resolution under clause 2 and for investigation and proof of the misbehavior or incapacity of a Judge.
This was stated in the Constitution of the 1972. After the change of government in 1975, the supremacy of Parliament was taken to the hand of the President. Later, during Ziaur Rahman’s rule in 1978, the power was handed over to the Supreme Judicial Council.
On June 30, 2011, Parliament passed the 15th amendment to the Constitution scarping the caretaker government system.
Besides, Parliament on September 14 passed Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control (Amendment) Bill, 2014, aiming to relax the qualifications to become chairman and members of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Control Authority.
The ‘Investment Corporation of Bangladesh Bill, 2014’, was passed in Parliament by voice vote on September 16, aiming to promote investment, develop capital market and savings in the country.
The Deoxyribo Nucleic Acid (DNA) Bill, 2014 was passed by voice vote in Parliament on September 10, aiming to bring the existing DNA test procedure under a legal framework and establishing a national DNA database.
President signs 16th Amend Bill into law