Speaker Abdul Hamid in a ruling on Monday said High Court Judge AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik had violated the constitution by making derogatory remarks about the parliament and the Speaker.
“I have doubt if any conscious people can utter such remarks a High Court judge [Justice Manik] made about the parliament and myself by violating the article 78 (1) of the constitution,” asserted the speaker.
Article 78 (1) says the validity of the proceedings in parliament shall not be questioned in any court.
The Speaker seems to have put the onus on the chief justice to take steps to this effect by saying: “We will support whatever steps the chief justice will take to avert recurrence of such conduct in the court in future.”
Ruling alliance MPs supported the Speaker’s ruling by repeatedly thumping desks.
Irked by the Speaker’s remarks in parliament, Justice Manik on June 5, during a hearing on a rule, observed that the Speaker had committed an offence tantamount to sedition by commenting in the House on an HC order.
He also said the Speaker was completely ignorant of the apex court and the constitution.
Speaker Abdul Hamid on May 29 told the House that the courts were neutral and independent, but it looked odd when they took quick decisions to solve their own problems while people had to wait years for justice.
The remarks came in relation to an HC order that the Supreme Court be handed over its land, which was then under the control of the Roads and Highways Department.
If people were aggrieved at court verdicts, the day would come when they would stand against the courts, Hamid said following a statement by Awami League lawmaker Shahriar Alam.
“Likewise, if the government becomes autocratic, people will resist it and there are numerous instances of such.”
Infuriated by Justice Manik’s remarks, some ruling alliance MPs on June 5 in parliament said Justice Manik had violated the constitution by making the remarks about the Speaker.
They proposed for taking a resolution requesting the president to form Supreme Judicial Council to remove Justice Manik.
In his ruling, the Speaker however said he respected the MPs’ sentiment and supported their proposal. But “I want to humbly say that indecent remarks of a judge cannot hamper the relation between the three organs of the state. We being representatives of 16 crore people cannot evaluate the entire judiciary on the basis of conduct of a judge.”
“Considering the overall situation, I think it will not be proper to take stern steps to this regard,” Hamid said requesting MPs to withdraw their proposal for taking a resolution in the House for removal of Justice Manik.
He said it is not a face-off between the parliament and the judiciary.
“It is indecent and personal attacking remarks of a judge. It should not be wise to engage the entire judiciary in it. We all should keep in mind that this country is not Pakistan.”
In reference to Justice Manik’s remarks, the Speaker said: “We had an expectation that the respectable judge will understand the entire situation and he would take necessary steps to withdraw his excess attacking speech. But he did not do so.”
He said both the ruling and opposition parties’ MPs unanimously elected him as the Speaker.
“If my knowledge, qualification are questioned, then qualification of all MPs is questioned. The judge should have carefully thought before making remarks. He made more derogatory remarks which I don’t feel necessary to cite here.”
The Speaker however hoped the discussion centring the issue will be end here following his ruling.