THE government Wednesday refused to give back deputy commissioners the judicial power they used to enjoy before the separation of the judiciary and the executive on September 1, 2007.
The refusal comes a day after deputy commissioners of districts made a demand in this regard to the prime minister.
“As the judiciary has been separated in line with a Supreme Court verdict and the government is committed to ensure its independence, it will never be possible for the government to give them [DCs] the full power,” said LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam.
He said this after a meeting between his ministry and the DCs at the cabinet division of Bangladesh Secretariat.
He said “a little” power is given to DCs on different occasions.
At the inaugural session of a three-day conference, which began on Tuesday at the Prime Ministers’ Office, the DCs said they want the authority back since they cannot try anyone in mobile courts without it.
Eminent jurist Shahdeen Malik said the demand is unacceptable, as the Supreme Court has revoked judicial powers of the executive magistrates.
ROAD EXPANSION URGED
Earlier at meeting with the communications ministry at the same venue, the DCs urged the government to immediately repair and expand roads and highways across the country to prevent frequent accidents and congestion.
They emphasised the need for repairs to the Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Chittagong, and Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highways before Eid-ul-Fitr.
They also asked for tow trucks in districts so that wrecked vehicles can be removed from accident scenes opening up the highways quickly.
Communications Secretary Mozammel Huq Khan, however, said his ministry failed to repair the highways due to lack of funds.
HELP RICE DISTRIBUTION
Food and disaster management minister Abdur Razzaque informed the DCs that the government would distribute 60,000 tonnes of low-cost rice among 77 lakh poor families across the country within this year.
He urged the DCs to ensure proper distribution of the rice. He also urged them to bring more accountability in distribution of Test Relif, Food for Work, VGD and VGF.
He said this during a meeting between the DCs and his ministry at the cabinet division.