The Daily Star
Dhaka, Monday 17 January 2011
Dhaka, Monday 17 January 2011
Bangladeshi Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque has informed the nation that steps are being taken to look into corruption in the judiciary. To this effect, as he states, a five-member committee comprising senior High Court judges has been instituted, the fundamental purpose being a ferreting out of corrupt elements in the judicial branch.
It is our understanding that the committee, formed against the backdrop of a recent TIB report on judicial corruption, has set before itself the task of cleansing the judicial branch of corrupt elements within it.
We welcome the move and indeed the spirit in which it has been made. It is certainly encouraging to note that the highest court in the land has taken due and positive cognizance of the report and means to allay the fears and apprehensions which have crept into the public mind as a result of the report.
The recent exchange of views between the judges and officials of TIB on the subject, preceded earlier by the judiciary's directive to TIB for a submission of documents relating to its opinion survey, should be taken as a further sign of the judiciary's readiness to go after those involved in unethical activities within its corridors.
It is essential that every effort be made in order to convince people that at the end of the day, it is the judiciary that will interpret their rights and uphold their individual and collective interests.
It ought to be clear to everyone that the CJ and his colleagues have adopted a forward-looking stance on the TIB report.
In this instance, we would like to point out that the rather negative impression that was being given out earlier about the TIB by a section of the press was both misplaced and misleading. The hype created around the report appeared to convey the impression that TIB was being subjected to an inquisition. The fact was that TIB had merely conducted a survey in accordance with standard procedures followed all over the world and simply reported it. Unfortunately, what followed looked like a sense of satisfaction in certain circles that at long last TIB was having its comeuppance. It was nothing of the sort.
Citizens will now breathe a sigh of relief at the proactive and positive manner in which the judiciary has responded to the report. Its action only reinforces the principle that it believes in transparency and surely means to look inward as a way of preserving its role intact as the guardian of the constitution and of people's fundamental rights.
Finally, we would like to make it known to the CJ in particular and the judiciary in general that in their efforts to investigate corruption in the courts, indeed in the legal field, they will have the full and unstinted support of this newspaper, and hopefully of the media as a whole as well as the civil society and people at large.
We are in full agreement with the CJ that the judiciary like other organs of the state is accountable to the people. His comments have without question cleared the air of any misgivings that may have arisen.
Asia News Netgwork