It’s a question of judiciary’s existence: HC

Supreme courtFile photo

The High Court has asked attorney general AM Amin Uddin and Supreme Court Bar Council president Momtaz Uddin Fakir to take initiatives to calm down the situation sparked by the indecent behaviour to the judges and court officials and use of abusive words to them in the courtroom in Brahmanbaria.

The High Court bench of justice JBM Hassan and justice Razik-Al-Jalil on Tuesday asked attorney general and president of the Supreme Court Bar Council to take an initiative over the incident in Brahmanbaria. Calm down the situation and bring it back to normal. It is a question of the existence of the judiciary, the bench added in the order.

The incident took place at the court room of the Women and Child Abuse Suppression Tribunal-1 in Brahmanbaria on 2 January.

After taking the matter into cognisance, the High Court on 5 January issued a suo motu rule of contempt of court and ordered three lawyers, including the Brahmanbaria Bar Council president, to appear in the court on 17 January to explain their roles in the incident.

Following the court order, Brahmanbaria Bar Council president Md. Tanvir Bhuiyan, general secretary (administration) Md. Akkas Ali and lawyer Jubayer Islam appeared before the court on Tuesday.

We are observing every single matter and we will continue to do so. It’s a question of the existence of the judiciary
High Court to attorney general Amin Uddin regarding the Brahmanbaria incident

Supreme Court Bar Council president Momtaz Uddin Fakir, general secretary Abdun Nur, Bangladesh Bar Council members Mohammad Sayeed Ahmed and Shah Manjurul Haque stood for the three lawyers of Brahmanbaria in the hearing. Attorney general AM Amin Uddin and deputy attorney general Tushar Kanti Roy presented the state.

At the beginning of the hearing, Momtaz Uddin Fakir asked for two months of time. At one point, the court said, “The incident that happened that day has shaken up the judiciary. We have studied a lot about different types of contempt but that kind of incident is quite unprecedented to us. Don’t you have court etiquette? You are one of the court officials. What would be the message for the justice seekers, when you, despite being a court official, dishonoured the court. Your clients are playing with fire.”

Lawyer Momtaz Uddin Fakir said that he tried to calm the situation as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Council.

The court then wanted to fix 29 January as the day for the next hearing. However, Momtaz Uddin Fakir requested the court to fix the date a month later in February saying that he was hoping that the situation would be normal by that time.

At one point of the hearing, Momtaz Uddin Fakir said, “The situation is quite normal in all courts of Brahmanbaria, except one.”

The High court said, “Do not boycott any court. Do not give the people any wrong message. Otherwise, this court will cease to exist. We will observe till the end. The image of the judiciary represents the image of the country.”

Momtaz Uddin Fakir said at the time that the suo motu rule against the lawyers was not on the charges of contempt of court. Many in the court tried to support him by raising their voice. The court said, “Are they the members of the Supreme Court Bar Council?”

At one point Momtaz Uddin Fakir said, “Sorry, my lord. Please give me some time to calm the situation.”

Attorney general AM Amin Uddin said, “That incident was unintentional and quite unfortunate. Please give us time. I will talk to the president, general secretary and members of the council in this regard.”

At this point the court said, “I will give you time. However, I am telling you again to calm the situation. The next hearing will be held on 14 February. We are not exempting the three lawyers from appearing before the court. We are observing every single matter and we will continue to do so. It’s a question of the existence of the judiciary. It also hampers the (activities of) Bar Council.”

Attorney general AM Amin Uddin at this point appealed to the court for the order to remove the video of the incident in the Brahmanbaria Court from the social media.

The court accepted the plea and ordered the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to remove the video from the social media immediately.