Law minister Anisul Huq reiterated on Thursday that the Constitution vested the full authority of the Chief Justice in the Acting Chief Justice.
Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhah Miah is also empowered to administer oaths of Supreme Court judges as and when they were appointed, Anis told reporters after delivering valedictory speech at the closing session of additional district and sessions judges’ training at the Judicial Administration Training Institute in the capital.
The Constitution states in the Third Schedule that an oath shall be administered, ‘in the case of the Chief Justice by the President, and in
the case of a Judge appointed to a division, by the Chief Justice.’
Anis said that in 1990 the then Acting Chief Justice had set a precedence by administering oaths to newly appointed Supreme Court judges after the then Chief Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed was appointed as the Acting President.
As the next senior most judge, Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman became the Acting Chief Justice, said Anis.
Anis said that Article 97 of the Constitution allows Acting Chief Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah to perform all the duties of the Chief Justice.
Replying to a question, the law minister said that he considers it unlikely that the President would keep the vacancy in the office of the Chief Justice for long.
Former High Court Division judge, Justice Quamrul Islam Siddiqui told New Age that Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed was the Chief Justice from January 14, 1990 to January 31, 1995.
He was appointed as the Chief Justice 14 days after Chief Justice Badrul Haider Chowdhury had retired.
The vacancy in the office of Chief Justice occurred on November 11 after Chief Justice SK Sinha tendered his resignation.
Lawyers said a barrage of criticism by prime minister Sheikh Hasina and ruling Awami League leaders for penning the unanimous 16th Amendment verdict of the Appellate Division prompted Chief Justice SK Sinha to go on leave he did not want and to resign from abroad.
Chief Justice Sinha’s retirement was due on January 31, 2018.
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