Ashraf’s Column

Friday, November 10, 2006

Separate the judiciary from the executive

Separation of the judiciary from the executive is a sine qua non for the establishment of accountability in the society, especially among the politicians who govern the country. For the last 16 years, politicians from the BNP and the AL have been ruling Bangladesh without any accountability by deliberately not separating the judiciary from the executive.

Late Barrister Ishtiaq Ahmed, the law adviser in Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed’s caretaker government, after having done all the needful, was about to issue the presidential order in the form of an ordinance to separate the judiciary from the executive.

At that time Begum Khaleda Zia who, after having won the election was to be the next prime minister, asked Justice Ahmed not to do so, and leave the job to be done by her elected government. Justice Ahmed complied with her request in good faith. Later the Supreme Court tried its best within the limits of law and decency to compel the politicians in power to separate these two organs of the state, but in vain. From the track record of the last 16 years of BNP and AL one can easily presume that, whichever party comes to power next time, it will not separate the judiciary from the executive.

In the greater interest of the state and the nation it will be most appropriate for the incumbent caretaker government to pass an ordinance to separate the judiciary from the executive.

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