The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed 12 amici curiae to assist it in hearing an appeal filed by the government against the High Court verdict that declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution.
A bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumer Sinha appointed them.
The apex court also fixed March 7 for hearing on the appeal against the HC verdict on the 16th amendment which empowers parliament to impeach an SC judge for moral turpitude or physical inability.
Those appointed as amici curiae are Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister M Amir-Ul Islam, Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC, Barrister Rafique-ul-Haque, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmood, former law minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed, former Attorney General AF Hassan Ariff, former Attorney General Fida M Kamal, Advocate Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Advocate TH Khan and Advocate MI Farooqi.
The matter appeared in the cause-list for hearing on Wednesday, but the government prayed for time. Following a time petition, the SC deferred the hearing till March 7.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the petitioners while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam stood for the state.
On May 5, 2016, the HC scrapped the 16th amendment to the constitution which empowered parliament to impeach an SC judge for moral turpitude or physical inability.
An HC larger bench of three judges, headed by Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, passed the order upon a writ petition filed by nine SC lawyers challenging the legality of the amendment.
The judgment which revoked the judge impeachment authority of the parliament sparked mixed reaction among the legal experts, ruling party men and opposition political parties.
On November 5, 2014, nine SC lawyers, including Asaduzzaman Siddique, Aklas Uddin Bhuiyan and Sarwar Ahad Chowdhury, filed the writ petition challenging the legality of the 16th amendment.
They contended that the amendment was motivated. It was initiated to implement a “malafide” intention and the judges might be at risk over passing an order against a lawmaker.
Dr Kamal, one of the authors of the 1972 constitution which empowers parliament to impeach a judge, earlier told the HC that the 16th amendment jeopardizes independence of the judiciary.
Advocate Manzill Murshid appeared for the writ petitioners while Attorney General represented the state.