Court Correspondent: Prior permission is no longer required in Bangladesh to arrest a government official for a criminal offence, the High Court ruled yesterday.
A bench of justices Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo passed the order, after striking down a provision of the Public Service Act, 2018, describing it as “unconstitutional”.
“Constitution is the country’s main law and as per the Constitution, everyone is equal in the eyes of the law,” the court observed.
“A section has been given special facilities by enacting the provision of getting prior permission to arrest government employees, which is sheer discrimination and violence of articles 26, 27 and 31 of the Constitution,” the bench said.
On November 14, 2018, a gazette was issued on Public Service Act, 2018. It was published on September 26, 2019, and came into effect on October 1, 2019.
According to Section 41(1) of the Act, prior permission is needed from the government or higher authorities to arrest a government officer for a criminal offence.
On October 14, 2019, a writ petition was filed challenging the legality of Section 41 (1) of the Act.
Advocates Sarwar Ahad Chowdhury, Eklas Uddin Bhuiya and Mahbubul Islam filed the writ petition on behalf of the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, an NGO.
On October 21, 2019, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why Section 41 (1) of the Public Service Act should not be declared “illegal and contradictory to articles 26(1) and (2), 27 and 31 of the Constitution”.
On Wednesday, the HC fixed yesterdayto pronounce the order on the rule.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the petitioner, while deputy attorney general Arbinda Kumar Roy represented the state.
Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
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