THE statement that the chief justice made, in an online discussion on Saturday on the launch of books written by two Supreme Court judges, is unpalatable not because of the statement that he made but because he had to make the statement that expressed his disappointment at the government’s not implementing Supreme Court rulings. The chief justice also said that they were tired of drawing contempt of court proceedings in connection with the government’s violation of Supreme Court orders and judgements. The chief justice also asked why contempt of court proceedings should be drawn time and again to push for the implementation of Supreme Court verdicts when Article 112 of the constitution lays out that all the authorities, including the executive and the judiciary, of the republic will act in aide of the Supreme Court. The chief justice further said that it was regrettable that verdicts could not be fully implemented even after the court issued contempt of court rulings. And the highest court, he said, expects that the executive organ of the state will implement Supreme Court verdicts and orders. The government’s delay and, even, unwillingness to fully comply with Supreme Court verdicts has been a long-drawn issue.
The court on several occasions ordered the government to keep unfit vehicles off the road; the number of unfit vehicles that ply the roads may not have been established beyond doubt. But several years have gone by, and unfit vehicles still run on the roads, causing fatal traffic accidents at times. The court on several occasions asked the government to take effective measures to stop air pollution. Yet, especially, the capital city has made the headlines a few times for having the worst quality of air in the world. The air quality of Dhaka, keeping to the latest report, still holds higher pollution readings. The government has miserably failed to stop air pollution. Similar is the case with steps that the court ordered for the government to stop the pollution of rivers that surround the capital city and to demarcate the rivers for a sustainable reclamation from occupation. The court has issued orders for the government on several occasions in this direction, but while the government has failed to effectively reclaim the river land from illegal occupation, some government agencies are reported not to have heeded the court directive in river land demarcation. These are but a few issues in which the government has failed to comply with court verdicts, orders and rulings effectively and timely. Such delay and unwillingness of the government, said to have been born mostly out of moneyed interests, costs public life and the environment dearly.
The chief justice also suggests the formation of a cell that will monitor whether Supreme Court verdicts are implemented. Such a cell may work to remind the court of the verdicts that have not been complied with and the government of its failure, negligence and unwillingness to comply with court orders. While the government must, therefore, set up such a cell for court order implementation, the government must also comply with the Supreme Court orders timely, effectively and sustainably.
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