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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Restore '72 constitution

Source: The Daily Star

HRCBM leader stressed the need for ensuring secularism in the constitution

Speakers at a discussion yesterday categorically demanded restoration of the '72 constitution to establish a non-communal democratic and repression-free country and protect human rights.

They made the call while speaking at the discussion meeting styled "Characteristics of '72 constitution and necessary and unnecessary amendments" organised by the Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee at the Bilia auditorium in the city yesterday.

Speaking as the chief guest, Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said the path of returning to the '72 constitution has been widened through the Supreme Court verdict.

Referring to a BNP leader's comment that the Supreme Court does not have the power of constitution amendment and it can be done in the parliament only, the minister said the Supreme Court is the guardian of the constitution. So, it is not necessary to go to parliament in this regard after the verdict.

“We will republish the constitution as per the Supreme Court verdict that dropped out some provisions of the constitution. After republishing, we will take it to the parliament for further opinions,” Shafique added.

About cancellation of registration of religion-based political parties, the minister stated that after republishing the constitution, the Election Commission (EC) will scrutinise that ideology of any political parties whether that may conflict with the constitution or not. If conflict arises, the EC will certainly cancel registering.

“All the political parties must have consistency in their ideologies with the constitution,” he said.

Speaking as the special guest, noted jurist Barrister Amir-ul Islam suggested reforming the caretaker government system saying, “There should be permanent ombudsmen comprising of retired bureaucrats of different ministries to appoint the chief adviser and other advisers of caretaker government.”

The practise of appointing advisers from the judiciary is jeopardising both the institutions---judiciary and caretaker government, he said.

Barrister Islam suggested inclusion a provision that will declare the process of taking state power unconstitutionally as sedition.

Necessary provisions should be included that will mention punishment of sedition and crime against humanity, he said.

Prof Ajoy Roy, president of Human Rights Congress for Bangladesh Minorities, stressed the need for ensuring secularism in the constitution to establish non-communal Bangladesh.

Presiding over the function, Justice Gholam Rabbani, president of the Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee, demanded necessary amendments in the constitution to recognise the indigenous people.

The committee coordinator Shahriar Kabir viewed that the fundamentalist groups will surely wiped out if the '72 constitution restored.

He demanded state declaration of November 4 as the National Constitution Day and laid emphasised preserving rights of franchise of eunuchs in the constriction.

Committee Vice President Shamoli Nasreen moderated the function while Dr Shahdeen Malik and Tureen Afroz of the Law Department of Brac University also spoke.