Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Justice Nayeem stripped of writ powers

Justice Nayeem stripped of writ powers
Source: New Age
March 17, 2008

High Court judge Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman, who has handed down verdicts in a series of high profile cases in recent times, has been stripped of his writ powers. Chief justice M Ruhul Amin made the decision on Monday changing the jurisdiction of the bench headed by Justice Nayeem.

According to the new jurisdiction, the bench, which also includes Justice Shahidul Islam, will now hear first civil appeals, which involve disputes on assets of more than Tk 1 lakh, and civil revisions and rules.

The jurisdiction of the High Court bench of Justice Md Iman Ali and Justice AFM Abdur Rahman, which was responsible for death reference hearings, has been changed and the bench will henceforth hear writ petitions.

The changes in the jurisdiction of the benches came at a time when the bench of Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Justice Shahidul Islam was scheduled to hold the final hearing on March 19 on a writ petition filed by Supreme Court lawyer Masud Reza Sobhan challenging the validity of not holding national elections in 90 days from the dissolution of parliament.

The HC bench headed by Justice Nayeem was given the jurisdiction of hearing writ appeals since M Ruhul Amin was sworn-in as chief justice in March, 2007. Since then, the bench delivered verdicts on a number of writ appeals filed by high profile accused.

The bench passed a verdict declaring illegal the Anti-Corruption Commission’s notice asking Awami League president Sheikh Hasina to submit her wealth statement. But the full bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, headed by chief justice M Ruhul Amin, on March 13 turned down the HC edict and upheld the ACC notice.

The bench also gave a verdict cancelling businessman Azam Jahangir Chowdhury’s case against Hasina. The bench also asserted that the High Court can grant bail even to convicts in cases under emergency powers rules.

In another recent verdict, the bench ruled illegal law secretary Kazi Habibul Awal’s appointment and observed: ‘According to the constitution, the chief justice’s opinion is not the opinion of the Supreme Court.’The bench also granted bail to former prime minister Khaleda Zia in the GATCO corruption case. Justice Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman was appointed a judge of the High Court division on June 1, 1996 and he will go into retirement in 2011.

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