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Bangladesh: Forced Retirement of Two Judges Was Unconstitutional

(Oct. 20, 2009) The Prime Minister of Bangladesh ordered two district court judges into retirement on July 30, 2009. The Prime Minister's order was in retaliation for the judges' involvement in a demonstration at the Law Ministry protesting certain procedures relating to separation of the judiciary from the executive branch.

The decision was made public through an official handout stating that, in order to maintain discipline in the public service, the government sent the two judges into retirement, in accordance with section 9(2) of the Public Servants (Retirement) Act, 1974. The decision, however, was challenged by the judicial officers, because it was made without any consultation with the Supreme Court, as required by article 116 of the Constitution of Bangladesh and section 6 of the Judicial Service Rules-2007. As a result, the Government of Bangladesh reinstated the judges on August 2, 2009. (HT Imam Hits Back at Suranjit: Sending Judges into Retirement and Reinstating Them a Settled Issue: Certain Quarter Out to Embarrass Govt, THE NEW NATION, Aug. 29, 2009, available at