Ashraf’s Column

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Law, morality and politics in Bangladesh

Recently, I watched Barrister Rafiqul Islam talking in a TV talk show (29 October). During the talk he time and again mentioned that those politicians, most of whom belong to his own party BNP, who were convicted by lower courts recently under EPR for corruption and have appealed to the higher court against the judgments of the lower courts, should be allowed to contest in the upcoming national election, if necessary by carrying out an amendment to the EPR. His point of argument was that our constitution and normal law of the land does not hold a person guilty of a crime till s/he is found guilty by the highest court of the country, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. Many others are also expressing the same view to the media. Legally they are right. There is no doubt about that. May I ask the barrister and others holding the same view if they are morally right in saying so? Suppose a domestic male servant behaves very indecently with the daughter of the master of a house. The servant is found guilty by the lower court and is given due punishment. The servant appeals to the higher/highest court against the conviction where the trial is not over even in, say, 10 years. The servant comes back on bail and asks his master to reinstate him, saying that he is innocent as the higher/highest court has not yet found him guilty of the charge. In such cases notwithstanding what is given in the holy books of law, the masters of the houses will be guided by common sense and morality and reject the requests. Is the law totally devoid of morality? If Bangladesh is a house, its people are its masters. The makers of its constitution and laws could never think that there would be so much of degeneration among the senior political leaders that they would disgrace our parliament by making professional goons members of our parliament. Should the master of Bangladesh, its people, give an opportunity to all such convicted persons to become members of parliament again? We need to change those laws which are not compatible with morality, and that cannot be done by members of parliament who are beneficiaries of such immoral laws. We have an opportunity now under the EPR to get rid of those persons with questionable morality and elect at least a set of honest people as the representatives of the people of our country. To save this country from its present maladies, first of all we need to amend our constitution and change all laws which are not compatible with morality and the ethos of our people. I appeal to all concerned, including the lawyers who are defending the cases of the corrupt, to give the people of our country an opportunity to clean the political garbage. If not for anything, at least for the future welfare of your grandchildren give us an opportunity!

5 Comments:

  • This is what happens when uniformed slaves try to manipulate logical minds!
    The brigadier is not only confused, but also proved himself as a hypocrite on the boundaries of morality & abiding law.

    Let us take up his example of the servant stealing from the master, going to jail, and coming back out bailed.
    In a country like BD, it is often the case that the servant is innocent while the master’s son or brother-in-law does the stealing and put it on the shoulders of the innocent servant! Now the master can file a case against the servant, and also can prevent him from working in his house; but can never put him out of work.
    By doing that the master is guilty of two charges, first taking the law in his hands; and secondly by stopping an innocent man from earning his living, which is also a moral issue.

    For the servant, the question is to prove his innocence. The complexity and the delay of the legal process are problems, but the servant has got nothing to do with it, that’s someone else’s problem. We cannot just destroy a because the trials are being delayed!!!

    To me, this write up is a reflection of the fundamental character of this person. He sounds like the kings in Saudi Arabia who punishes stealing by cutting of wrists; as if they can rejoin the wrist if the person is proven not guilty!

    But above all, the brigadier is wrong on the main issue. Despite his statement on the people being the master, he takes the army, who’s ruling right now as the master of BD.
    He is trying to convict the people who were shown guilty in an EPR court, not the people’s court!

    There are other minor adjustments needed here as well.
    For instance, innocent until proven guilty in our country comes from British law, and is upheld in almost all of the countries, except for in countries like Saudi Arabia and in minds of confused and little learned people!

    And on the issue of morality, I would like to ask the brigadier whether his own moral bears any strain of not, for he enjoys his house in DOHS, which must be worth millions and paid by taxpayers.
    If he is that concern about moral, why doesn’t he give the free housing (& other benefits he receives), come down to the streets, and try living a normal Bangladeshi life.

    Who asked this brigadier, or his masters, the generals, to decide what decision the people are to take?
    Why on earth can they not take the verdict of the people as it comes through an election?
    Why do they try to sieve who should run and who not?
    If the people elect a crook, then that’s their wish, and that’s whom these army worshipers have to serve.

    It’s really a pain in the back to see such biased and crooked persons taking the advantage of free net postings and writing garbage!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:49 AM  

  • Dhaka, Nov 13 (bdnews24.com) – The High Court has declared the operations of Truth Commission that began work Aug 03/08 illegal and unconstitutional.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 4:55 AM  

  • First, anonymous (first one) seems confused here but not the author. In anonymous's expression as if in the name of people's wish, publically elected Khaleda, her PS (Mr. Palu) or APS (Mr. Harish) or even children like Arafat and Tarique are allowed to play ha-doo-doo with people's money! As if Br. Huda, Saifur Rahman's sons they were all given open access to loot public money. Mr. First Anonymous this is not democracy, please inculcate yourself, learn the value that it is your, my, Rahim, Karim, Army's, Police's everybody's right to save national interest from thugs even if they are elected public representatives. Winning public election doesn't give khaleda and her chamchas any right to do wrong -you need to have this one on top of your head before attacking personally somebody in the name of posting comments.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 6:49 PM  

  • Pls read the newspapers... today's newspapers clearly say that the army taskforces stole more money than they recovered!!! :-)

    And I guess you meant that public votes to politicians doesn't mandate them to do corruption; but the army guns give the corrupt generals power to do both torture & loot the people?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 9:49 AM  

  • Anonymous (one just above this comment), you are absolutely right here. Like the way public didn’t approve political leaders corruption at all, public also disapprove military’s corruption, looting and torture. There are thieves among generals and to my knowledge except for Ershad, Momtazuddin Ahmed and Altaf nobody else were taken behind the bar so far. One Rab (retd Maj Gen now, Nasim’s good buddy) is an example; owner of Ayasha Memorial Hospital now is an example. This Rab must be punished for stealing money as he was only discharged from the army for stealing money. The point is: If Hasina now (or it would have been Khaleda Zia if had won the election) needs to address these issues with an iron hand and deal severely. Khaleda failed badly as her own party leaders were involved in serious corruption, people has the perception that Tarique and Coco were all in Hawa Bhaban based commission syndicate and latest US Justice Dept. involvement in Coco’s money where there was a Siemens bribery involved. Hasina has the opportunity now to take care of corruption issue and taking everybody to task form generals, secretaries, partymen who are ugly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11:23 AM  

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