Eminent citizens concerned over comments on 16th amendment verdict
Twenty-five eminent citizens today expressed grave concern over the comments made by different quarters on the Supreme Court verdict that annulled the 16th amendment to the constitution. “As citizens of the country, we are upset and worried of the remarks over the verdict on the 16th amendment to the constitutional,” the eminent citizens from different professions came up with the observation in a joint statement this evening. “Politicisation or showing over enthusiasm on the court verdict is harmful to dignity and creativity of the court,” they observed. As the court is the last resort of people in protecting democratic rights and thus any attempt to weaken the court will be unwanted and sorrowful, in the statement said. “We are calling upon the people from all quarters to refrain from making any remark that tarnishes the dignity of the country’s highest court considering the peoples’ interest,” they said. They came up with the concern when the country’s two major political parties –Awami League and BNP -- are engaged in making comments and counter-comments over the Supreme Court verdict on the 16th amendment to the constitution. Soon after the verdict, BNP has been claiming it is a historical milestone in the country’s history while the ruling Awami League is criticising the verdict that scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution which had empowered the parliament to remove its judges for incapacity or misconduct. Awami League, its political allies and front organisations are demanding resignation of Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha for giving the verdict. At the same time, BNP is blaming the government for putting pressure to the chief justice to stay away from his post saying that the judiciary will be destroyed if the CJ is resigned. The apex court on August 1 released the full text of its verdict, scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution that had given parliament the power to remove SC judges for misconduct or incapacity. The eminent citizens are: Dr. Serajul Islam Choudhury, professor emeritus of Dhaka University, Prof Ajoy Roy of Dhaka University, human rights activist Dr Hameeda Hossain, Tagore researcher Dr. Ahmed Rafiq, Convenor of Oil-Gas and Port Protection National Committee Engineer Sheikh Mohammad Shahidullah, ,columnist Syed Abul Maksud, Convenor of civil society platform Shujan Badiul Alam Majumdar, economist Dr Swapan Adnan, Educationist Dr Dilara Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor of Central Women's University Dr Parveen Hasan, eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, Dhaka University professor Dr Asif Nazrul, Journalists Abu Sayeed Khan, Dhaka University Professor Dr Ridwanul Haque, human rights activist Zakir Hossain, anthropologist Rehnuma Ahmed, lawyer Barrister Sara Hossain, lawyer Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Dr Shahidul Alam of Drik Gallery, Rights activist Shirin Haque, right activists Nur Khan Liton, right activists Rezaur Rahman Lenin, physician Prof Mujaherul Haque and lawyer Zaiur Rahman.