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OTHER BANGLA NEWSPAPER NEWS

Move to bring changes to constitution delayed

Bangladeshi Newspaper - Move to bring changes to constitution delayed/h3>

Staff Correspondent

The government is not taking any initiative at this moment to amend the constitution, since a case regarding the fifth amendment to the constitution awaits final disposal in the Supreme Court.

Last month, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam said that the government would move within a very short time to bring major changes to the constitution to restore the spirit of the liberation war.

The law ministry had also drafted a letter last month asking the Law Commission to scrutinise the constitution and to determine what areas of the constitution should be amended. But the ministry has recently decided to delay sending the letter to the commission, sources said.

According to the sources, the Awami League-led grand alliance government still considers amending the constitution to revive some major features of the 1972 constitution, but it will take necessary steps to this end after the receiving the decision of the apex court on the fifth amendment case.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told The Daily Star recently that the government is not taking any move right now to amend or update the constitution, as the fifth amendment case is pending with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

"We are now waiting for the SC verdict on the fifth amendment case. I think hearing of this case will be held after the disposal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman murder case," he added.

Earlier on September 27, the law minister told the media that if the original constitution of 1972 revives following the nullification of the fifth amendment, the four fundamental state principles -- democracy, nationalism, secularism and socialism -- would be restored concomitantly.

He also made it clear that the repeal of the fifth amendment does not mean restoration of the fourth amendment regarding the provision of 'one-party rule', as it was revoked through referendum.

On August 29, 2005, the High Court declared 'illegal' the fifth amendment to the constitution, adopted in parliament, meaning the regimes of Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem and Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman since August 15, 1975 till April 9, 1979 were unlawful.

In the verdict, the High Court had observed that martial law as a whole is 'illegal and unconstitutional' and all the actions, laws, and rules made under martial law are 'illegal.'

Two appeals against the HC verdict are pending with SC for hearing.

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