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>govt seeks control of judicial power

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THE parliamentary standing committee on law ministry yesterday decided to recommend that the House vest the authority in the government to empower executive magistrates to take cognisance of offences in “extraordinary circumstances”, The Daily Star reports.

In consultation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the committee last night came up with the decision and asked the law ministry to draft proposals to bring amendment to the bill on separation of the judiciary, sources present at the meeting said.

A new provision will be incorporated in the bill saying the government may empower executive magistrates, who are also administrative cadres, to take cognisance of offences for trial “in an extremely special situation” to maintain law and order, committee members said.

The committee also decided to recommend that parliament vest the authority in the government to enact a new law to allow the executive magistrates to run mobile courts to hold trial of offences under minor acts.

Committee chief and AL lawmaker Suranjit Sengupta, however, claimed that the committee would not make any recommendation undermining the separation of the judiciary. “We are going to make recommendations keeping the spirit of the separation of the judiciary intact,” he said.

“The government may empower executive magistrates to take preventive measures to maintain law and order in special situations,” Suranjit said but declined to elaborate the recommendations.


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