Judicial

Chamber Court declines to stay HC order on govt officials’ arrest

The Appellate Division Chamber Judge on Wednesday refused to stay a High Court ruling that no prior permission is required to arrest a government official for a criminal offence.

Chamber judge Justice M Enayetur Rahim passed the order after hearing an appeal by the government seeking a stay of the HC order.

The appeal was sent to the full bench of the Appellate Division for further hearing Thursday.

Attorney General AM Amin Uddin appeared for the state, while writ petitioner's lawyer Manzill Murshid opposed the state's petition.

On August 25, the HC scrapped a provision of the Public Service Act, 2018, describing it as "unconstitutional".

"The Constitution is the country’s main law and as per the Constitution, everyone is equal in the eyes of the law," the court observed.

"A section has been given special facilities by enacting the provision of getting prior permission to arrest government employees, which is sheer discrimination and violence of articles 26, 27 and 31 of the Constitution," the bench said.

On November 14, 2018, a gazette was issued on Public Service Act, 2018. It was published on September 26, 2019, and came into effect on October 1, 2019.

According to Section 41(1) of the Act, prior permission is needed from the government or higher authorities to arrest a government officer in a criminal case.

On October 14, 2019, a writ petition was filed challenging the legality of Section 41 (1) of the Act.

Advocates Sarwar Ahad Chowdhury, Eklas Uddin Bhuiya and Mahbubul Islam filed the writ petition on behalf of the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, an non-profit.

On October 21, 2019, the HC issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why Section 41 (1) of the Public Service Act should not be declared "illegal and contradictory to articles 26(1) and (2), 27 and 31 of the Constitution".

Source: United News of Bangladesh