General

Dowry prohibition law okayed

DHAKA, Jan 30, 2017 (BSS) - The cabinet today approved in principle the draft of "The Dowry Prohibition Law, 2017" incorporating a tougher punishment of maximum 14 years of rigorous jail and fine for provoking a bride to commit suicide.

Besides, maximum life-term sentence or up to 12 years of imprisonment along with additional fine would be awarded in case of any "grievous hurt" to bride by bridegroom side associating with the demand of dowry.

The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of the cabinet held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Briefing the reporters after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said that the draft law has been framed integrating the previous Dowry Prohibition Act of 1980 and its subsequent amended versions made later on.

According to the draft law, Alam said, the bridegroom side including parents of the bridegroom demanding dowry would have to face minimum one year and maximum five years of jail or up to Tk 50 thousand as fine or both the punishments.

On the other hand, he said, any one filing case on false accusation of demanding dowry would be sentenced to one-year jail or maximum Tk 50,000 fine or both.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to establish two more universities in the country under public sector initiative - namely Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Science and Technology University at Melandah in Jamalpur and Sheikh Hasina University in Netrakona.

For the purpose, the cabinet approved two separate proposals for "Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Science and Technology University Bill, 2017" and "Sheikh Hasina University Bill, 2017" in its meeting today.

Alam said according to the decision of the cabinet, the existing Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Fisheries College in Melandaha of Jamalpur district would be upgraded to a Science and Technology University while Sheikh Hasina University would be a new one to be named after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina following the demand of the people of Netrakona.

The cabinet also approved in principle the draft of "The Integrated Small-scale Irrigation Policy, 2017" aimed at ensuring development of surface and underground water resources as well as its efficient use.

Under the policy, Alam said, two committees -- one at upazila level headed by the Upazila Chairman and another under joint supervision of the Deputy Commissioner and the Executive Engineer of BADC at district level would be formed to oversee the entire process.

The cabinet was also apprised of the quarterly report (October-December) 2016 on the implementation of the cabinet decisions.

The cabinet meeting also endorsed the draft of the agreements to be signed with India titled 'Inter-Agency Agreement between Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership (GCNEP), Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Bangladesh on Cooperation regarding Nuclear Power Plant Project in Bangladesh'.

The meeting also approved another draft agreement to be inked with India titled 'Arrangement between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) of the Government of India and Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA), the government of Bangladesh for the Exchange of Technical Information and Cooperation in the Regulation of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.'

At the outset, the meeting adopted an obituary reference at the death of Mahfuzul Bari, one of the accused in the historic Agartala Conspiracy Case and a close associate of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Late Mahfuzur Bari, a former central leader of Bangladesh Awami League died of a heart attack in Dhaka on January 23 at the age of 75.

Ministers and state ministers concerned attended the meeting, while secretaries concerned were present.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)