Ashraf’s Column

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rule of law and good judges

On 08 January I had the opportunity to listen to our newly appointed law minister Barrister Shafiq Ahmed twice on the TV screen, once in the morning while he was addressing the journalists, and then in the evening during a talk show. He is known to be one of the most learned and renowned lawyers in our country. On both the occasions he expressed his firm conviction in the rule of law. No one can disagree with him. There cannot be good governance in the absence of rule of law. There cannot be any rule of law in the absence of learned, honest and efficient judges who can perform their duties independently and honestly.

Barrister Ahmed assured the people that he would certainly take necessary action as per if he received any complaint against any judge. An ordinary citizen has practically very little opportunity or scope to lodge a formal complaint against a judge.

May I also remind the honourable law minister that our present laws are not sufficient enough to deal with such cases. These laws were made long ago when the politicians or the appointing authorities were men of high integrity. People had full confidence in the persons who were appointed as judges. But, as we see, the situation is totally different now.

The last caretaker government of Dr. Fakhruddin identified the problem with our higher judiciary and thought of rectifying it, as they did with other organisations like ACC, PSC and UGC. They could not reform the higher judiciary, I believe, primarily for two reasons. One, to carry out such a huge reform that involves the constitution of the country a government needs very strong popular support. Obviously Dr. Fakhruddin's non-elected government did not enjoy that support. Two, such a major reform is usually followed by a backlash wherein quarters not interested in the desired reform try to create public disorder. Dr. Fakhruddin's government did not want to be distracted from their primary mission of holding the election by creating any public disorder.

The elected government of Sheikh Hasina with more than two thirds majority in parliament has the strongest political support of the people to do anything which is in the interest of the people. With such popular support at her back she need not bother about any backlash. In Bangladesh no government, however popular at the beginning it may be, can hold its popularity for more than two or three years. Therefore, now is the time for Sheikh Hasina's new government to carry out the much awaited reform.


  • Brig... don't you think that the appointment of Army Generals should be under microscope too?

    Since you & your army colleagues' families feed on money of taxpayers like us, why don’t you publish your earnings?

    I would like to know how much tax did you and your children paid to the government of Bangladesh in the past years!!!

    I hope you are man enough to reply!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 7:38 AM  

  • Unfortunately the First Anonymous is only criticizing the author personally, rather attacking not refuting to any of author’s arguments. This is basically taste of First Anonymous corrupt and irrational mindset when s/he badly failing to grasp the essence of the subject matter. I don’t blame him much as our own dear Khaleda Zia being a national leader also fails to acknowledge that her owns sons misdeed and shamelessly keep extolling them in public.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 10:55 AM  

  • 2nd Anonymous… both you & I are innocent readers of such trash written by these little-learned knee-brained army officers. Let’s hope that the brig is man enough to publish the amount of his & his families tax paid to the Government of Bangladesh over last two decades.

    I can understand your frustration about Bangladesh and the way its being run. But please remember that this brig, and his fellow officers are the ones who eat up more than 60% of the country’s budget every year.
    That money, my dear friend, come from the public’s pockets, including you & me!
    My father, who was a school teacher, spent his entire life teaching, & paid his taxes dutifully. At the same time, this brig, and his fellow officers, did nothing but doing some annual drills and partying in their lavish clubs in cantonments, collecting rations of rice taka one a kilogram, had all their fat health benefits free, sent their children overseas to become citizens, etc etc.

    With the recent trend of ex-army officers of settling in developed countries, it does hurt me when I see these ‘officers’ having all the fun (on our money) in Bangladesh, and then moving abroad, to collect seniors’ benefits as immigrants in rich countries, it does hurt me, just like it would you too!

    Kindly go through the other write ups of this brig, & you will see what I mean.

    As these stiff-necks lived their lives on our (including you & me) money, earned in exchange of sweat & blood, there’s nothing personal. They shouldn’t argue either, for they owe everything they have to us!

    Had this man was an ex-member of the BDR, I wouldn’t have gone after him!

    Let’s wait till this brig publishes the amount of tax he paid in last 30 years!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 11:56 AM  

  • Dear 2nd Anonymous:
    Answering your comments chronologically:
    Your comments justify that the adjectives you used to introduce the brig gentleman –who’s the author here, like “little-learned knee-brained army officers” you belong to the same little learned may be foot-brained not army officer but a university educated shortsighted person. You are not getting the point that you are attacking an author not his arguments. Some of the comments that you made to refute author’s comment are good but as a whole it is not making sense as yours is just full of venom i.e. personal attack.
    Brig is not responsible for his family’s tax filing. He can be hold responsible for his and his wife’s income. You have his name and address posted on his blog; you can easily file a complaint/petition to Bangladesh courts with the request to investigate brig’s total tax filing if there’s any discrepancy at any time. If his son/daughter are adults and having their own income you may also file petition to investigate their ones as well instead of advocating publishing it on an open blog. Tax documents are confidential ones I won’t be a fat ass to ask you, a genuine fat ass to post your tax filing here.
    For your information: the way service personnel's tax filing works in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan is; service personnel receive only the take home part in their pay-check after due tax amount is paid. Thus if this brig gentleman served in the army for 25 or 30 or whatever years, his due taxes were all paid. Period.
    About the paragraph that you wrote about your school-teacher father and so on… badly failed to understand the idea here not to become personal but criticizing or refuting what the author posted. You are only becoming personal, jealous and head-strong here. Please argue on brig’s comments not on he had parties in the cantonments and so on. Please also discuss the parties and fun that Mo Kha Alamgir, Babor and Haris and others had with your and my money what would happen to that? Why you only hold the army brig, what about the secretaries who shows off at Dhaka club, don’t you see that too?
    The brig lives in Mahakhali, Dhaka, per his blog and no one has any idea how did you find him settling down in developed countries! Please come to some sense dear. And also if as parents of children who settled outside in developed countries if somebody regardless army or school teacher start living with his son/daughter then there’s nothing wrong in that. Living with children by taking seniors benefit in a developed country is much better than Morshed Khan or Shajahan Shiraj who live lavishly in the US with looted and stolen public money from Bangladesh. You need to understand this part too.
    How do you know this brig fellow never served in BDR, do you know him personally? If so then why do you post a letter with your credential here and ask the brig to post his tax returns of last 30 years? He might have been served BDR and if that had happened then please investigate.

    Dear, if you are so much concerned about this brig, then please file a law suit and stop reading his blog. He is not asking you to read it at all. This would at least prevent us from reading one-eyed personal attack from an idiot reader like you!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 1:00 PM  

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