Monday, September 16, 2013

Quader Molla appeal, day 4: recusal application

7 April 2013
To see previous day's proceedings

This day was fixed for the hearing of ‘recusal application’ submitted by the counsels of Abdur Quader Mollah. On the previous day, his lead-counsel Khondokar Mahbub Hossain was heavily criticized by the Bench for talking to press before the application came to the actual notice of the Bench.

The 6 judges took their seats at 9:10 am. However, they adjourned at 10:30 am until 12:00 pm. Until 10:30 am the Bench did not hear the matter as there were 7 other items in the cause list prior to this matter.

The Bench sat again at 12:05 pm and the item no. 8 was called at 12:25 pm. At that time, the counsels for Abdul Quader Mollah senior advocate Khondokar Mahabub Hossain went to the dais straightaway and started to make his submission supporting the recusal application. Almost all the high profile lawyers, widely known as BNP and Jamat supporters e.g. Barrister Abdur Razzak (Asstt. Secretary General of Jamat-e-Islami), senior advocate Rafiqul Islam Miah (ex BNP MP), Barrister Mahabub Uddin Khokon (current General Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association), Tajul Islam (counsel for Jamat leaders at ICTB), Barrister Tanvir Parvez (counsel for Jamat leaders at ICTB), were also present in the courtroom at that time. On the other hand, on behalf of the state, the Attorney General Mahbub-e-Alam and some other junior state counsels were present.

Senior Advocate Khondokar Mahbub Hossain read out the written submission supporting the recusal application. 

After that, the Chief Justice asked the Attorney General, the chief law officer of the state, to make his submission. The Attorney general submitted that the grounds were not genuine. He explained before the lordship that the expectation and demand of the entire nation is to punish the 'demons' of the 1971 who had committed the offence of crime against humanity during the war. He also submitted that the judges in question have not made any comment so far in this matter then how the learned defence counsels claims ‘no confidence’ on them. 

The Chief Justice asked the attorney general, “What were the findings of the ICT,B about the skype scandal?”

The attorney general replied, “The information cannot be referred to or discussed”.

The Chief Justice then explained, “You did not understand my question. You are simply referring the decision of ICT,B (not the findings). What about the admissibility of this piece of documents/evidence?

Then the Chief Justice was then about to adjourn the hearing for today saying that “that’s all for today.” However, the lead counsel for Mr Mollah, Khondokar Mahbub Hossain said,”My Lord, I have just one submission. It is the practice of the apex court in such cases, allegation need not to be true; merely raising allegation is enough. And in such cases (an application for recusal), such judges should not be a party to the hearing of the application.

At 12:50 pm the Judges left their seats to decide whether the two judges in question would hear the recusal application or not. The court-staff then entered and removed 2 chairs. 

4 judges then took their seats instead 6 (the 2 judges in question i.e. S K Sinha and AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury were absent then). Then the chief justice formally declared that this application will be heard by the bench of 4 judges  instead of 6. Chief Justice asked Khondokar Mahbub Hossain to make his submission and he started accordingly.

However, the chief justice interrupted and said, “you do not need to read out line to line.”

In response, Mr Hossain replied, “That’s what we written.”

Then the 2nd most senior among the 4 judges, Mr Justice Wahab Mia said, “You submitted the application yesterday 4 pm. Do you think that we have not already read this over night? Please make a concise submission.”

Mr K M Hossain explained that reading out the background is important to make the Bench understand why they have submitted the application. He also said that they have made the application in a rush.

The defence lawyer then argued that, “Your lordship could have dismissed the application without even hearing it; however, you have not done so. That means there there might be some sort of merit of the application. I request your lordship to watch at least one video (of skype conversation)..what type conversation were those and ultimately he resigned due to those video clips.”

At 1:25 pm, the chief justice adjourned the hearing until the following day.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,

    I Barrister Tanvir Parvez, Advocate Supreme court do hereby request you again, please correctly write the name of the counsel for Jammat. As I indicated before you have inadvertently mentioned Barrister Tanvir Parvez as a counsel for Jammat in the Appellate Division hearing, I was not there. I am not a consel for Jammat. You have confused the name with Barrister Tanvir Ahmed Al Amin. Please rectify this as soon as possible.

    Barrister Tanvir Parvez
    Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh
    Room No. 5017 (Annex)
    Supreme Court Bar Association Building
    Cell 01732642315