Bangladesh Parliament regains authority to impeach judges

 The Bangladesh Parliament has passed a constitutional amendment to regain its power to impeach apex court judges.

Dhaka: The Bangladesh Parliament has passed a constitutional amendment to regain its power to impeach apex court judges.

The bill was passed late Wednesday in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Raushon Ershad, Xinhua reported.

Results of division votes showed that 327 votes, including those from Hasina`s ruling Bangladesh Awami League and its allies, and Ershad`s Jatiya Party, were in support of passing the 16th Constitutional Amendment Bill and there were no vote against it.

It will come into effect after an official statement is published following the President`s approval.

The Parliament members will be able to impeach any judge for his or her misconduct or incapacity once the bill comes into effect.

The Bangladeshi cabinet last month gave its nod to the proposal to amend the country`s constitution to empower parliament to impeach apex court judges.

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia`s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has strongly criticised the Bangladesh Awami League (AL) government`s move to re-empower parliament to impeach the Supreme Court judges, describing it as a conspiracy.

In Bangladesh`s 1972 Constitution, Article 96 allowed parliament to impeach Supreme Court judges for proven offenses or incapability by the vote of a two-thirds majority.

Late president Ziaur Rahman, founder of BNP, later struk the provision down and bestowed the power to a Supreme Judicial Council through the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution.

According to the existing constitutional provision, the Supreme Judicial Council comprising the chief justice and two other senior-most judges of the Appellate Division investigates allegations of misconduct against any judge and makes necessary recommendations to the president.

The President then takes steps as per the suggestions.

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