Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Errant lawyers to say sorry

Thirteen pro-BNP-Jamaat lawyers involved in creating chaos in the courtroom of a High Court bench with one of them throwing a plastic missile at the bench will apologise to the judges on Sunday.
This was decided at a meeting between the attorney general and the Supreme Court Bar Association leaders yesterday on the advice of the chief justice.
The advice came when the full bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain was hearing an appeal of the 13 lawyers seeking stay on an HC order banning them from practising law in any court in the country.
The HC bench of Justice AHM Shamusddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore in a suo moto rule imposed the ban on August 3, a day after the same bench witnessed raucous protests against it by these lawyers.
The apex court adjourned till August 14 the hearing of the lawyers’ appeal, filed on August 7.
The 13 lawyers are among the 17 accused in two cases filed by police on August 2 and 4 on charges of assaulting them and preventing them from doing their duties on the court premises.
Four of the accused have already been arrested. The rest 13 will surrender before the trial court on August 14 in connection with the two cases.
On August 3, the HC bench also issued a rule asking Bangladesh Bar Council to explain by August 14 why the 13 lawyers should not be blamed for committing contempt of court for their “disrespectful conduct with this court.”
It also asked these lawyers to explain why the Bar Council should not be directed to cancel their enrolment certificates on charge of committing professional misconduct.
The ruling came after the judges witnessed pandemonium on August 2 when they cautioned BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for her recent remarks on the constitution.
The opposition-backed lawyers scuffled with the pro-government lawyers after the judges questioned Khaleda’s patriotism and observed that her statement on the constitution is tantamount to sedition.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday told The Daily Star that he will take steps so that the law enforcers don’t harass or arrest the absconding accused lawyers till August 14, and they are not taken on remand.
“If the 10 absconding lawyers are not granted bail and sent to jail after they surrender before the trial court on August 14, I will take ask the jail authorities to produce them to the High Court bench for apologizing to it,” he said.
Mahbubey Alam said four other lawyers, who are already in custody, will also be produced before the HC bench.
“I have always said the accused lawyers will not be dishonored if they surrender before the trial court,” he said.
Asked, SCBA President Khandker Mahbub Hossain said, “The attorney general has assured us that no new case will be filed against the lawyers, and he will help so that they can get bail in the cases after their surrender. We are grateful to the attorney general for this.”
He, however, alleged the law enforcers tortured advocate MU Ahmed, who was arrested in the early hours yesterday from his Segunbagicha residence in the capital.
Four lawyers including Papia have been arrested so far in connection with the two cases. Two other arrestees are Abu Bakar Siddique and Gazi Touhidul Islam.

-With The Daily Star input

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