Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain has expressed his disappointment with the executive branch as it quite often depends on the High Court (HC) directives to carry out its responsibilities. The High Court has to get the executive branch to perform its duty by issuing writs even on trivial issues.
"The High Court performs the duties of the executive branch. What does the government do if we perform their duties?" Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain asked.
The chief justice made these comments on Monday while hearing an appeal on illegal grabbing of the Turag banks.
Hameem Group and Anowar Group built Nishat Jute Mills Limited and Hossain Dying and Printing respectively, which the Appellate Division declared illegal on February 5.
The High Court declared the Turag as a "living entity" in 2019 in light of a writ petition filed by the human rights watchdog Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh.
The Court ordered the two companies to remove the establishments. However, the Appellate Division stayed the High Court order.
The lawyer for Nishat Jute Mills, Sayed Mahabubur Rahman, told The Business Standard, "The High Court issued 17 directives for saving the Turag. Most of the directives fall under the routine work of the government authorities concerned. That is why the Chief Justice made the comment."
"The Appellate Division says all issues come to the High Court. The executive branch should do their work and the court should do theirs. However, the reality is the High Court does their work, which is not acceptable at all," he added.
"If the executive branch had performed its duty properly the High Court would not have to issue so many writs," said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.
"Though it is late, the chief justice has realised the problem. But he has very little to do as the chief justice does not have the jurisdiction to give directives to the executive branch," said the eminent jurist Dr Shahdeen Malik.
Laws have been made so that all do their duties properly but some authorities have failed to abide by the laws. As a result, the court has to deal with these, he added.
Former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder was of the view that the government should ensure proper accountability of the executive branch.
"The court is now giving directives to the executive branch, which will raise the question of the government's role in establishing rule of law," he added.
Former law minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said the concerns raised by the Chief Justice are appropriate.
"As the head of a division, he can take initiatives. Instead of issuing several directives, the court can issue a single directive on issues of a similar nature, which will lead to a decrease in the number of cases," he added.