Govt seeks to stay HC order declaring 16th Amendment unconstitutional

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Dhaka, May 8: The government on Sunday filed a petition against the High Court (HC) verdict that scrapped 16th constitutional amendment empowering parliament to impeach SC judges for misconduct or incapacity with the Supreme Court.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam submitted the petition with the SC’s chamber judge on behalf of the state seeking stay on the HC order.

“The matter might be heard on Monday,” said Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Saju.

On May 5, a special bench of justices Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Md Ashraful Kamal had declared the amendment illegal in a majority decision after the final hearing over a petition challenging its validity.

The court in the verdict said the ‘parliamentary mechanism’ to remove judges was ‘an accident of history’.

The HC declared the 16th amendment to the constitution “illegal” and “unconstitutional” and said it was against the principles of the separation of state powers and the independence of the judiciary.

The HC came up with the verdict following a writ petition filed in November 2014 by nine lawyers challenging the amendment.

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