Thursday, May 30, 2024

Justice Habibur Rahman no more

A former chief adviser of a caretaker government and a former chief justice Muhammad Habibur Rhaman passed away at United Hospital in the capital at about 9: 50pm yesterday. He was 85.
Rahman, a language veteran, was taken to the hospital at about 9:00pm after he became severely ill with a headache. Later, doctors declared him dead at around 9:50pm. Family members, relatives, friends, colleagues and thousands of admirers across the country mourned his death, as soon as the news spread.
Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at the death of Habibur Rahman and conveyed their deep sympathies to his bereaved family members.
Recalling the contributions of Habibur Rahman to the country’s judiciary, Sheikh Hasina said the former chief justice had played a strong role in establishing democracy and its march forward in the country.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia also condoled the death Habibur Rahman and conveyed her profound sympathy to the family members.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith also expressed his profound grief at Habibur Rahman’s death.
Awami League leader Tofail Ahmed, Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission Dr Mizanur Rahman and many of his well-wishers visited the hospital to pay their last respect to Habibur Rahman.
Habibur Rahman was an educator, lawyer, author and a highly respected judge.
Habibur Rahman retired from service as Chief Justice of Bangladesh in 1995. As the last retiring Chief justice and according to the constitutional provision for caretaker government, he took oath as the Chief Advisor of the Caretaker Government for conducting the elections of the Jatiya Sangsad in 1996. He was born in Murshidabad of West Bengal in 1930.
Rahman obtained his BA (Honours) (1949) and MA (1951) in History from Dhaka University and subsequently, BA Honours (1958) and MA (1962) in Modern History from the Oxford University.
He is a Fellow of Bangla Academy and Asiatic Society of Bangladesh; Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford; and also Honorary Bencher of Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London.
He is author of seventy books in Bengali on law, language, literature, poetry and religion and five books in English, including two books of verse.
Habibur Rahman began his career as a Lecturer in History of Dhaka University in 1952. Later he joined Rajshahi University where he subsequently held the office of Dean of the Faculty of Law (1961) and of Reader in History (1962-64). Habibur Rahman changed his profession in 1964 when he took to law and joined the Dhaka High Court Bar. In his legal career he held the offices of Assistant Advocate General (1969), Vice President of High Court Bar Association (1972) and member of bangladesh bar council (1972).
He served as a Judge of the High Court Division (1976-85), Judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (1985-95), Acting Chief Justice (1990-91) and as chief justice of Bangladesh (1995). His juristic competence is demonstrated in his opinions and interpretations as pronounced in many of the Bangladesh Supreme Court’s decisions concerning vital issues, such as, admiralty jurisdiction, amendment of the Constitution, citizenship, habeas corpus, administrative tribunals and court jurisdictions.
Justice Habibur Rahman participated in many international conferences of lawyers and jurists including the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia-Pacific in Perth, Australia (1991), Fourth Commonwealth Chief Justices Conference in Abuza, Nigeria (1992), first SAARC Chief Justices Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal (1995).
Researcher and writer Habibur Rahman has substantial contribution in literature and in varied intellectual arena. Some of his literary and other noted publications are as follows: Law of Requisition (1966), Rabindra Prabandhey Sanjna O Parthakya Bichar (1968), Jatha-sabda (1974), Matri-bhashar Sapakshey Rabindranath (1983), Qoran-sutra (1984), Bachan O Prabachan (1985), Gangariddhi thekey Bangladesh (1985), Rabindra Rachanar Rabindra-byaksha (1986), Rabindra-kabyey Art, Sangeet O Sahitya (1986), On Rights and Remedies, Amara ki Jabo-na Tader Kachhey Jara Shudhu Banglai Katha Baley (1996). Justice Rahman was awarded Bangla Academy Prize for Literature in 1985. He is a fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh; Fellow of the Bangla Academy; Honorary Bencher, Lincoln’s Inn.

Courtesy of The Independent

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