Martial law ordinances being revived

The government on Thursday decided to enact a law to resurrect the martial law ordinances that became ineffective following two High Court orders.

The Cabinet meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, approved the draft for placing it in Parliament for its passage as a law.

Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed journalists about the Cabinet decision.

Ordinances issued during the state of emergency slapped by military rulers after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members were assassinated in 1975, and those promulgated by HM Ershad were rendered ineffective by the High Court orders that repealed the Fifth and Seventh constitutional amendments.

President Zillur Rahman issued two ordinances for making the ordinances, promulgated in two phases from Aug 20, 1975 to Apr 9, 1977 and from Mar 24, 1982 to Nov 10, 1986, effective.

The Constitution entitles an ordinance to be passed into a law at the immediate parliament session.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed tabled the two ordinances as the parliament session began on Jan 27.

There are 172 ordinances, and if the ordinances that have been amended are to be counted, the number would be more than 550.

As the task of examining such a large number of ordinances in 30 days is time-consuming, the government decided to produce the President’s ordinances as a bill in the Parliament.

Secretary Bhuiyan said the meeting discussed 133 ordinances during the meeting.

“The President’s ordinances had been issued for maintaining continuity of state activities from government to government.”

“Following Cabinet’s approval, now the ordinances will be produced as bill in Parliament. Once passed as law, it will ensure continuity of governmental activities.”

The bill will be discussed in parliament by Feb 26.

“It will act as an umbrella law. The Cabinet approved it on principle after those were scrutinised.”

Ministries will screen relevant ordinances to select which ones are required to be passed into law.

The Cabinet in its meeting also approved ‘Voter list (Amendment) Act-2013’

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