The High Court today questioned the legality of a government decision to stand release Pirojpur's District and Sessions Judge Md Abdul Mannan, who had ordered the authorities to send a former Awami League lawmaker and his wife to jail in three corruption cases.
The HC issued a rule asking the law and justice division secretary of the law ministry to explain in a week why the decision regarding Judge Abdul Mannan should not be declared illegal.
The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir issued the rule on a suomuto (voluntary) move following newspaper reports on the law ministry's decision over the stand release of Judge Abdul Mannan.
Advocate Eunus Ali Akond, a Supreme Court lawyer, placed the reports published on The Daily Star, Prothom Alo and Kaler Kantho before the HC bench for necessary order.
The lawyer told the HC that the government's decision about Judge Abdul Mannan is an interference on the independence of judiciary and contradictory to the spirit of the separation of judiciary.
The bench also fixed next Wednesday for holding hearing on the rule, Eunus Ali Akond told The Daily Star.
On March 3, the court of Judge Abdul Mannan ordered the authorities concerned to send former Awami League lawmaker AKMA Awal and his wife Laila Parvin to jail, rejecting their bail prayers in three corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) last year.
ACC Deputy Director Ali Akbar filed the cases with the commission's integrated district office in Barishal on December 30 last year.
Judge Mannan passed the order when Awal and his wife appeared before it with bail prayers, our Pirojpur correspondent reports, quoting ACC lawyer Mansur Uddin Hawladar.
After the order was passed, supporters of Awal started demonstrations on the court premises.
Later, Awal and his wife got bail from another court in the district.
Joint District and Sessions Judge Nahid Nasrin, who has been given the responsibility of acting district and sessions judge of Pirojpur, granted them bail after they moved a review petition, said Awal's lawyer Shahidul Haque Khan Panna.
In the petition, the couple said they were sick.
Hours after the court of Abdul Mannan passed the order, Judge Abdul Mannan was stand-released over corruption allegations and attached to the law ministry.
Law ministry and SC sources said the ministry passed the order following the approval of the SC.
The ministry had earlier received graft allegations against Judge Abdul Mannan, and departmental proceedings were underway against him, according to sources within the ministry.
Contacted, Law Minister Anisul Huq declined to comment and said, "I want to remain impartial."