Tribunal to provide reasons on the petition filed against the ICT Chairman for alleged bias in a few hours

In all likelihood, it is going to be an important day for the Tribunal. In a few hours it will be 28 November 2011, the day fixed for the International Crimes Tribunal to deliver its Judgment on a petition filed by the defence as to why Mr. Justice Md. Nizamul Huq should or should not continue to sit as Chairman of the Tribunal.


— On 27 October 2011, the accused Delwar Hossain Saydee filed an application for recusal before the Tribunal alleging bias of its Chairman Mr Justice Md Nizamul Huq due to his name being included in one of the Reports as a Secretariat member of the People’s Inquiry Commission. The Commision, a civil society led campaign, carried out informal inquiries against a number of alleged perpetrators for their crimes in 1971, one of whom happens to be the accused in the current case.

— On 13 and 14 November, the Tribunal heard both sides of the case extensively. Due to the nature of the application, the Chairman disassociated himself from the matter and was not present during the hearing which was heard by the two other Members of the Tribunal.

— On 14 November, an Order was delivered by the two other Members of the Tribunal on the recusal application of the defence. The recusal application dated 27 October was rejected on the ground that the Members of the Tribunal are not legally authorised to entertain this recusal application as it involved a fellow judge of the same tribunal (i.e., the Chairman) of equal standing. The judges, however, made a passing remark along the lines that that such matters are best left on the good conscience of the judge concerned.

— On 16 November, taking cue from the “good conscience” remark made in the Order by the two other Members, the accused Delwar Hossain Saydee filed another petition. This time the prayer before the Tribunal involved seeking reasons from the Chairman and the Tribunal as to why, in light of considerations based on his good conscience, the Chairman of the Tribunal should continue to sit in the Tribunal.

— On 20 November 2011, extensive hearing took place on the petition dated 16 November. Submissions were made for the petitioner by his counsel Mr Abdur Razzak and Mr Khondoker Mahbub Hossain (President of the Supreme Court Bar Association). Submission for the government was made by Mr Mahbubey Alam, the Attorney General of Bangladesh. Accordingly, 23 November was set for delivering the Order/Judgement on the application.

— On 23 November, the scheduled Order was deferred until 28 November 2011.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article or in the comment section are those of the respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of International Crimes Strategy Forum (ICSF).

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