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HC questions legality of Section 42 of Public Service Act

Date: 2020-02-16 12:20:32
Refarence : The Daily Star

The High Court today questioned the legality of Section 42 of the Public Service Act-2018, according to which a civil servant will not be dismissed for criminal offences unless they are sentenced to at least one-year imprisonment.

The court issued a rule asking the authorities concerned of the government to explain in four weeks why the section should not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.

The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir came up with the rule following a writ petition filed by a rights organisation.

Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB) filed the petition with the HC on February 9 challenging the legality of the provision of the law.

The organisation also said in the petition that a gazette notification on the Public Service Act-2018 was issued on November 14, 2018 incorporating Section 42.

According to the Contempt of Court Act-1926, which is now in effect, a public servant is dismissed from service if they are sentenced to six months' imprisonment, which is the maximum punishment under this law.

The government has formulated the Public Service Act-2018 incorporating Section 42 in order to damage the spirit of the contempt of court law, as the public servants will have no fear of losing their job under this law, the rights body also said in the petition.

During the hearing today, HRPB's lawyer Manzill Murshid told the HC that the Act has been formulated incorporating the Section 42 in order to give protection to the civil servants from contempt of court charges which is illegal and unconstitutional.