16th amendment verdict: Review plea to seek annulment of total verdict this month

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Desk Report, November 04: Law Minister Anisul Huq on Saturday said the prosecution will file a plea within this month for review of the Supreme Court verdict scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution.“We are scrutinizing the verdict. We will file review plea seeking annulment of the total verdict,” he said.

The law minister came up with the observations while talking to newsmen after coming out of his meeting with Attorney General Mahbubey Alam at the latter’s office at the Supreme Court this afternoon, according to a news agency.

“We discussed the probable grounds of our plea. We have finalized the grounds and will file review petition within this month,” law minister added.

Additional attorney generals Murad Reza, Mamtaz Uddin Fakir, deputy attorney generals Motahar Hossain Sazu, Ekramul Haque Tutul, Amit Talukder, Biswajit Debnath, Khandaker Diliruzzaman, Masud Hasan Chowdhury, Sardar Rashed Jahangir and assistant attorney general Bashir Ahmed, were present on the occasion, among others.

An 11-member committee headed by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam is working to scrutinize the verdict and preparing the review plea.

The 799-page text of the verdict has been released after signing of six judges on August 1.

The apex court on July 3, 2017, passed its judgement upholding the High Court verdict, while it dismissed a state appeal against the initial verdict.

On June 1, the apex court concluded hearing on the state appeal against High Court verdict that had declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution, which had empowered parliament to remove judges for incapacity of misbehavior.

Earlier on February 8, 2017, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court appointed 12 senior jurists as amicus curiae to give their opinions during the hearing on state appeal. The 12 amici curiae were – Dr Kamal Hossain, Justice (retd) TH Khan, Barrister Amirul Islam, Barrister AF Hasan Arif, Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Advocate Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Barrister Rokonuddin Mahmud, Barrister MI Farooqui, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Fida M Kamal.

Of the twelve, ten amici curiae submitted their views; nine opposed the 16th amendment, while only one supported it.

A three-member High Court bench led by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury delivered the initial verdict by majority on May 5, 2016. The two other judges were Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal.

The state later filed an appeal against the High Court verdict.