Brahmanbaria lawyers tainted country’s legal history: HC

High CourtFile photo

The High Court has said the Brahmanbaria bar has tainted the judicial history of Bangladesh and it has brought disgrace for all the lawyers by exerting power.

A bench comprising justice JBM Hassan and justice Razik-Al-Jalil on Tuesday made the remark in a hearing when three lawyers, including the president of Brahmanbaria District Lawyers Association, appeared before the court on charges of creating chaos, using abusive language, and chanting inappropriate slogans against the officials of Brahmanbaria Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1.

The three lawyers are -- Brahmanbaria District Lawyers Association president Md Tanvir Bhuiyan, secretary (admin) Md Akkas Ali and lawyer Zubayer Islam.

Earlier, on 2 January, a ruckus was created at the court of Brahmanbaria Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-1.

Upon learning the incident, the High Court on 5 January issued a suo motu rule of contempt of court and asked the three lawyers, including the district lawyers’ association president, to appear before the court on 17 January to explain their conducts.

The three lawyers appeared before the court that day. As they appealed for time, the court fixed 14 February for hearing.

Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Association president Md Momtazuddin Fakir, secretary Abdun Nur, Bangladesh Bar Council member Mohammad Sayeed Ahmed and lawyer Shah Manjurul Haque represented the three lawyers while deputy attorney general Tushar Kanti Roy stood for the state.

Be it president or member, no one beyond law

At the beginning of the hearing, Momtazuddin Fakir said the proceedings of Brahmanbaria court has started from today (Tuesday). All the stakeholders including the state sat. A few more tasks are remaining, the situation will improve more.

At that time the court said the rule (contempt of court) was issued on 5 January. You started moving just before the date of hearing. But everything was like before.

At this Momtazuddin Fakir said give us a month.

The court said you didn’t even submit any affidavit. To this Momtazuddin Fakir answered “no”.

Addressing the lawyers, the court said, " the issues for consideration are increasing with every passing day. You’re wasting time. You have to face consequences for this. We won’t give time. Respond if you wish or not. We will move as we deem necessary. The hearing will be held on 20 February."

Then Momtazuddin Fakir said, "Give us some more time. There is a programme on 20 February, the president’s feast. Give us a month."

Bangladesh Bar Council member senior lawyer Mohammad Sayeed Ahmed said the court proceedings in Brahmanbaria have started.

At this the court said a month was given on good faith but you have not done anything. Rather, you kept the court, a constitutional institution non-functional.

To this the lawyers reiterated that the court proceedings started from today.

The High Court said, "What started? There is a verdict of the Supreme Court. And, when people (justice seekers) are going there (Brahmanbaria court), you are creating ruckus. We are watching everything in media."

Momtazuddin Fakir then said sorry, my lord.

Another lawyer Abdun Nur said, the situation is improving, all the stakeholders concerned sat in discussion.

At a stage the court said, “The bar of Brahmanbaria (district lawyers’ association) has tainted the country’s legal history. It has brought dishonour to all the lawyers by exerting power.”

Then Momtazuddin Fakir urged for fixing the next hearing date in March. The court said people can make mistake a day, could even show arrogance. But can that be continuously! Is it a conduct?

Momtazuddin Fakir said, "There is no lacking from our side."

The court said, “Be it president or member of the association, no one is beyond the jurisdiction of law. There is a bar council. From now on we will act if the bar council does not do anything.”

At this Momtazuddin Fakir said, “There are no lesses (deficit) from our side. We are taking action, my lord. He was elected president again.”

Addressing the lawyers the court said, “My brother (another justice of the bench) and I keep our eyes on newspapers (to know) what is happening at the bar. How is this that you are disturbing the justice seekers when the court is sitting! If you want to boycott the court, do that sitting at the association (office). Will you issue threat to the justice seekers on the court premises? Or any lawyers for going to the court?”

Momtazuddin Fakir said, “This is not being done. This is exaggeration. This is exaggerated if someone ever said so.”

The court said, “We are observing this in news.” Then Momtazuddin Fakir said, “No. Many types of reports are published.” The court retorted, “Why have you not sent any rejoinder then?”

Momtazuddin Fakir said, “We have held meetings, and taking steps. There are many stakeholders, we have sat with them. We don’t have any lesses (deficit), my lord.”

Then lawyer Abdun Nur said there are some who want to deteriorate the institutions.

Addressing the SCBA president Momtazuddin Fakir, secretary Abdun Nur and bar council member Mohammad Sayeed Ahmed, the court said, “Even if you have achieved some development, you have to bear the responsibility of what happened in last one month.”

Momtazuddin Fakir said, “We’re not declining, we surely will take the responsibility.” At this the court said, “You are standing here to bear the responsibility.”

Momtazuddin Fakir said, “We are officers of the court. Why won’t we take the responsibility? We have responsibility”

The court said, “We granted one month’s time that day showing respect to you.”

Momtazuddin Fakir said, "Give us a date in March. Sayeed Ahmed said, since the court proceedings have started, give us the time."

The High Court then said the hearing will be held on 22 February. Momtazuddin Fakir said the election of Dhaka bar will be held on 22 February, fix the date in March. The court then said the hearing will be on 26 February.