Bangladesh urgently needed a constitution which would ensure the people’s power and rights by reducing the power of the executive and the prime minister, observed educationists and lawyers while discussing democratic aspects of the constitution on Friday.
They opined that scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution by the Supreme Court hinted at the way forward towards making the constitution more democratic.
Since the independence, they said, the ruling parties in their tenures manipulated the constitution in favour of their narrow political interests rather than for serving the people with the spirit of the Liberation War.
Rashtrochinta, a journal, organised the discussion on ‘scrapping the 16th amendment to the constitution and the importance of a democratic constitution’ at the National Press Club.
The speakers believed that more discussions and analyses on the SC’s observations were a must before making sweeping criticisms.
Professor Sabbir Ahmed of political science department at Dhaka University said that hailing individualism in the party politics resulted in different amendments to the constitution that made it anti-participatory.
Another political science teacher of the university, Mamun Al-Mustafa said that the SC’s observations had showed many weaknesses and discrepancies in constitutional amendments.
High Court lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua said that the constitution should be amended as it still contained elements that helped the cabinet chief to be more autocratic.
Slamming the harsh critics of SC’s observations on the 16th amendment, former parliament member Tasmin Rana said that the controversially elected parliament members were now defending their wrong policies that had restricted people’s participation in politics.
Another High Court lawyer, Sadia Arman said that inefficient parliament members who did not care about people’s interests should not have the rights to impeach judges.
Lawyer Hasnat Quaiyum chaired the discussion, which was also addressed by Khorshed Alam Swapan, Iftekhar Ahmed Babu, professor Halimdad Khan, freedom fighter Naim Zahangeer. Journalist Amin Al Rashid presented the keynote paper.
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