Chief Justice Khairul Haque
Khairul Haque is going to be the new Chief Justice of Bangladesh. Awami League chose him superseding two more senior justices: Abdul Matin and Shah Abu Naeem Mominur Rahman. Khairul Haque will go into retirement on May 17, 2011. He will then be the Chief Advisor of next caretaker government.
All governments stand, at a crucial point in their tenure, on crossroads. What if BNP had decided to provide Sheikh Hasina SSF security during May 2004? What if Sheikh Hasina had decided to conduct early elections, as she had promised during her pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, and when the Four-Party Alliance was still in a conceptual stage? What if Khaleda Zia had agreed to the demands of a Caretaker Government, as Barrister Abdus Salam Taluqdar had urged her?
What if Sheikh Hasina had decided not to violate seniority norms in her quest to ensure Awami League’s re-election in 2014?
Why is Khairul Haque controversial?
He took the highly unusual step of deciding that a constitutional amendment, in this case Bangladesh’s Fifth Amendment, was illegal. So vitriolic and anti-BNP was his verdict that the Appellate Division, when considering it, had to “modify” his initial verdict.
What was so wrong with his verdict?
Well, there is something called the political question doctrine. It essentially means that the Court is not well-situated to delve into certain questions, that are by nature political, and should be left to the political branches of government. Getting the courts mingled up in political questions erodes public confidence in the judicial system.
Does Khairul Haque like to comment on political matters?
His own words speak for himself:
Major General Ziaur Rahman B.U., who might have his own interest in proving himself but what interest of the people of Bangladesh was served in spending money for the
personal aggrandizement of one person.
Major General Ziaur Rahman, BU, psc., in exercise of [his]
autocratic and illegal power, not only made our Constitution subservient to the Martial Law Proclamations etc. but also changed the basic structure of the Constitution
[Ziaur Rahman] knew very well that the Proclamations etc. are all illegal and so also their activities. As such, they again came
round and sought to hide all their illegalities in the bosom of the said very Constitution which they disgraced time and again in their free wills, whims and caprices. In their such pursuits, ironically, there was no dearth of hypocrisy in that although the Dictators freely truncate and modify the various provisions of the Constitution all the time to suit their ends but when those very illegal Proclamations etc. become part of our sacred
Constitution, those become unchallengable, as argued by the learned Advocates for the respondents.
We have already seen above how Khondaker Moshtaque Ahmed, Justice Sayem and Major General Ziaur Rahman, B.U., psc., the three usurpers treated our Constitution. This Constitution was written on the blood, toil and tears of milions of Bangalees but this was treated not even as one ‘Dog Act’ or ‘Rat Act’ , they treated it most disgracefully although all of them took oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the
said very Constitution but even a plane ticket gets more attention and are from a chance traveller to Bangladesh.
Major General Ziaur Rahman being an usurper to the Office of the President and in the Office of the legally non-existent Chief
Martial Law Administrator, had no authority to change the Constitution.
[Ziaur Rahman] made the secular Republic of Bangladesh, a theocratic State, thereby the cause of the liberation War of Bangladesh was betrayed.
As an aside, Khairul Haque returned to Bangladesh in 1970 after getting his law degree from England. We look forward to hearing what his contriubtion was to the Liberation War.
But, let us resume:
Major General Ziaur Rahman B.U. psc., did not even stop there.
The autocratic Government was soon degenerated into a military dictatorship. He not only continued with the illegalities committed by his predecessors in office but
destroyed the basic structures of the Constitution on the false pretext of repealing the ‘undemocratic’ provisions of the Fourth Amendment.
Quotations marks around the work undemocratic when talking about the Fourth Amendment, aka BAKSAL. You can’t make this stuff up.
Major General Ziaur Rahman BU, could attain the highest
office in Bangladesh apparently without much efforts.
Writing a verdict is a rare art form. You start with the applicable laws, apply them to the facts at hand, and reach your conclusion. When you start throwing around words like usurper, autocratic, and hypocrisy from the very beginning, it is quite clear that this is not a verdict, this is the strongly-held opinion of an essentially political person who also happens to be a judge.
This is the person who will be ensured with holding a free and fair election in 2014. Perhaps someone should check KM Hasan’s availability.
(Cross-posted in In the middle of nowhere.