Two High Court Judges were forced to leave the courtroom yesterday after issuing an order to remove BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman's comments online amid chaos between pro-Awami League and pro-BNP lawyers.
The High Court bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Khairul Alam directed the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to remove all videos of Tarique Rahman's speeches from social media and online platforms after hearing a petition in this regard.
After the ruling, a commotion arose in the courtroom among lawyers backed by the Awami League and the BNP. The situation continued for about 30 minutes.
The lawyers of BNP told the court that it had issued the order within 30 seconds of the hearing without hearing the statement of the other side.
BNP's senior lawyer AJ Mohammad Ali said, "We have filed a motion of no confidence against you before the Chief Justice. You are biased. We will not get justice from you. For this reason, no case of Tariq Rahman can proceed in your court."
Justice Khasruzzaman said they can appeal against the order.
At that time, the BNP-backed lawyers started shouting at him as a biased judge.
At one point, pro-Awami lawyers protested the opposition lawyers' comments, saying they should not create pressure on the court.
As the commotion began to escalate, the two judges left the courtroom and retired to their chambers.
Pro-BNP lawyers were shouting "shame, shame" while the justices were leaving the courtroom.
The judges, however, returned to the courtroom at 2:30pm and resumed proceedings. Pro-BNP lawyers were absent during this time.
Meanwhile, Pro-BNP lawyers filed a motion of no confidence to the Chief Justice against the bench and appealed the case be transferred to another bench.
Earlier on 22 August, the High Court ordered the hearing to be included on Monday's agenda.
Before this, the notice of the rule was sent to Tarique Rahman's Gulshan address which was mentioned in the writ. It was also published on the notice board of the Supreme Court and in a national daily.
However, BNP's lawyers told the court that the address to which the notice was sent in Gulshan is not the last address of Tarique Rahman. He is now in London so the notice must be sent to that address.
However, the court said, as per the law, the petitioners have sent notices.
In 2015, Supreme Court lawyer Nasreen Siddiqui Lina filed a petition seeking a ban on the speech of BNP Acting Chairman (then Senior Vice Chairman) Tarique Rahman due to his various comments on the history of Bangladesh and Bangabandhu.
After holding a hearing on the writ, the high court bench of Justice Quazi Reza-ul Hoque and Justice Abu Taher Saifur Rahman issued an interim order along with the rule.
The High Court's rule asked why instructions would not be given to prohibit the publication of Tarique Rahman's speeches. Information secretary, some secretary, law secretary, inspector general of police, director general of BTV, chairman of BTRC, chief news editor of Ekushey TV, editor of Kaler Kantha and Tarique Rahman were asked to respond to the ruling.