On Sunday 22nd August, the High Court is hearing a writ petition challenging the Constitution (First Amendment) Act 1973 which was passed on 15 July 1973 five days before the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 was enacted.
By amending Article 47 of the constitution, the amendment act had the effect of protecting the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act 1973 from constitutional challenge, dis-applies the application of certain fundamental rights from those who are detained and prosecuted under the Act, and restricts these people from seeking any remedy from the High Court.
The writ which has been lodged on behalf of Mohammad Quamruzzaman and Abdul Quader Mollah (two of the four Jamaat leaders initially detained by the Tribunal) and will be argued by Barrister Abdur Razzak, the assistant secretary general of the party, as well as one of its leading lawyers.
The writ challenges the constitutionality of the amendment, the constitutionality of the 1973 Act itself, and questions the legality of the way in which the Tribunal is operating.
Two days later, on Tuesday 24th - assuming proceedings are not stayed as a result of the writ petition - the Tribunal itself will hear a number of applications from defence lawyers including ones that challenge the legal basis by which the Tribunal issued arrests warrants upon the first four detained Jamaat leaders.