HC verdict against 16th amendment to constitution upheld

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PV Desk : The Supreme Court today upheld a High Court verdict that declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution, dismissing a state appeal against it.

“Dismissed,” said Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, while passing the short order. The court came up with some observations, which, however, will only be known after the release of the full text of today’s verdict.

A seven-member apex court bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order at around 10.35 am.

On June 1, the apex court concluded hearing on the state appeal against High Court verdict that had declared illegal the 16th amendment to the constitution, which had empowered parliament to remove judges for incapacity of misbehavior.

Earlier on February 8, 2017, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court appointed 12 senior jurists as amicus curiae to give their opinions during the hearing on state appeal.

The 12 amici curiae were – Dr Kamal Hossain, Justice (rtd) TH Khan, Barrister Amirul Islam, Barrister AF Hasan Arif, Barrister Ajmalul Hossain, Barrister Rafiqul Haque, Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Advocate Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Barrister Rokonuddin Mahmud, Barrister MI Farooqui, Advocate AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Fida M Kamal.

Of the twelve, ten amici curiae submitted their views, nine opposed the 16th amendment, while only one supported it.

The High Court on August 11, 2016, released the full text of 165-page verdict that declared illegal and unconstitutional the 16th amendment to the constitution, which had allowed the parliament to remove Supreme Court judges on grounds of incapacity or misconduct.