President Mohammad Zillur Rahman on Monday approved setting up of a Supreme Judicial Council to investigate a High Court judge for his alleged smear campaign against the slain Shahbagh protester Ahmed Rajib Haider.Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told bdnews24.com that the council will probe Justice Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan, who allegedly used his office assistant to distribute copies of a newspaper report among his colleagues at the court premises that described Rajib as ‘Murtad’ (apostate).
Shafique said the file regarding formation of the Supreme Judicial Council was sent to his ministry with the presidential endorsement.
“The file will now be sent to the Chief Justice and he will take necessary measures,” he said.
Earlier, Secretary to the President’s Office Shafiul Alam told bdnews24.com the President had signed the file.
Rajib, a leading activist of the Shahbagh movement, was killed by unidentified miscreants near his residence in the city’s Pallabi on Feb 15 night.
Some national dailies have been ‘propagandising’ by publishing about his personal life and his alleged write-ups in blogs.
On Feb 18, Justice Bhuiyan sent photocopies of reports on the alleged blog writings regarding Islam and Prophet Muhammad to other Supreme Court judges in separate envelopes. The reports were published in Bengali daily Inqilab the same day.
In the report, the judge termed Rajib a ‘Murtad’ (apostate) and reportedly said: “His (Rajib) blog posts remind us of Murtad Salman Rushdie.”
Hours after receiving the envelops, many HC judges met Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain and urged him to take measures against Justice Bhuiyan through the Supreme Judicial Council.
Later, the Chief Justice called Bhuiyan at his office and cautioned him.
bdnews24.com ran a report on the judge’s action.
In Parliament the next day, several Treasury Bench members demanded removal of the controversial judge.
Later, Speaker Abdul Hamid said that he would come up with a ruling later if the government did not resolve the issue.
Later, Law Minister Shafique assured the MPs that he would discuss with the Chief Justice formation of a Supreme Judicial Council for taking action against the High Court judge for his “misconduct”.
Bhuiyan was appointed as an Additional Judge of the High Court Division on July 29, 2002 and his job was confirmed two years later during the previous BNP-Jamaat regime.
The organisers of the civil uprising at Shahbagh and Rajib’s relatives blamed Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir for Rajib’s death for his write-ups in blogs. However, the Jamaat has refuted its involvement in the killing.
Awami League Presidium Member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, MP, in Parliament on Feb 19, demanded summoning Justice Bhuiyan regarding Rajib’s murder.