Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said that her government had been able to end the culture of injustice established by a military ruler in the country because of people’s mandate.
She said this while inaugurating the 12-storied building of Bangladesh Supreme Court Bijoy 71, joining it through video link. The programme was held at the Supreme Court premises.
She said military ruler Ziaur Rahman had established the culture of injustice in the country after the assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
It was continued successfully by his wife Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, she said.
The prime minister said that she could end this culture of impunity and injustice because her Awami League party got the popular mandate to run the country.
“We had been able to do it on the strength of the popular mandate,” she said.
The PM said she and her government had faced many obstacles in restoring the culture of justice in the country.
She mentioned that after August 15 tragedy the then- government promulgated the now-repealed Indemnity Ordinance to save the killers.
“By this, the killers were rewarded with jobs in the country’s missions abroad,” she recalled.
She also said that the killers were allowed to do politics in the country and continue their conspiracy against Bangladesh and the values of the War of Liberation.
“The trial of war criminals was stopped and the trial in the seven-murder case was halted and they (the accused) were freed and given chance to do politics,” she said.
In this connection she said that Zia had started the process which was followed by his wife Khaleda.
“They rewarded the killers of the Father of the Nation, war criminals, killers of women and children. They destroyed the spirit and values of the Liberation War,” she said.
The prime minister praised the judiciary for the historic judgment to declare all past military take-overs of the state power and their regimes illegal.
“I think by this verdict the democratic rights of the people of Bangladesh were well protected,” she said.
Law Minister Anisul Huq chaired the programme where Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, Attorney General Abu Mohammad Amin Uddin and Law and Justice Division secretary Md. Golam Sarwar also spoke.
The prime minister said the government has been working to secure democracy and establish the rule of law and thus ensure justice for all.
“We have a set a goal to protect and promote democracy and establish the rule of law in the country so people from all classes get justice,” she said.
Hasina said that her government is working to make sure that tortured women, children and acid victims get quick justice.
The overall development of the judiciary is also a priority of the government, she said.
Mentioning that they have taken measures to implement Article 116 of the Constitution, she said the government has allocated separate budget for the judiciary and formulated necessary rules to separate judiciary from the executive body.
The PM said they have taken initiatives to further strengthen the judiciary and ensure effectiveness of the Constitution since taking office for the first time in 1996.
She thanked the judges from both lower and higher courts for their judgments in the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu and sentencing the convicts to death.
“We have got justice with the courageous role taken by the justices and we have been able to execute the verdict,” she said.
Hasina said that they were unable to even file a case against the killers due to the indemnity given to them by Zia.
During the regime of Zia, she said, 19 to 20 coups were staged whose victims were armed forces officials, political leaders and the masses.
She said that the Awami League enacted required laws, constructed infrastructure, increased salaries of the judges and ensured their security.
She said that the government has taken up a project for complete digitisation of the judiciary under the supervision of her Information Technology Affairs Adviser Sajeed Wazed Joy.
She said they the government is set to establish a law universality to build specialised universities across the country and sought assistance from the justices and lawyers to formulate an appropriate curriculum for the university.
Hasina said she has already asked the finance minister to allocate money for building a record room to secure the court related documents.
She, however, stressed the need for keeping both the hard copy and soft copy.
She said the government has a plan to build a modern mosque on the Supreme Court premises.
She said her government is also considering better arrangements for the lawyers across the country as it has modernised all the 64 district courts.
She said that the government is building Bar Council Bhaban for the lawyers.
The premier said they have formulated a law The Legal Aid Services Act, 2000 aimed at giving legal services to the litigants who are incapable to seek justice.
She said her government has transformed Bangladesh into a developing nation overcoming many hurdles.
She sought people’s cooperation to build a prosperous and developed country free from poverty and hunger as envisioned by Bangabandhu.
Earlier, a video documentary on the newly constricted 12-storied building of the Bangladesh Supreme Court was screened at the function.
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