The chief justice terms the chaos in the courtroom caused by pro-BNP lawyers “unprecedented”
Addressing the pro-BNP lawyers who created chaos in the courtroom on Thursday during the hearing of a bail plea of Khaleda Zia, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain said, "Everything has a limit."
"We have never seen such a situation in a courtroom before," the chief justice said. He also asked the lawyers not to ruin the court's environment.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by the chief justice adjourned the hearing of the appeal filed by the BNP chairperson in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case till December 12. The bench granted a time plea filed by the state.
Earlier, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam sought time from the court for submitting the medical report on Khaleda's health condition, saying the authorities of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) were yet to prepare the report on her health condition.
Opposing the appeal, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Advocate Jainul Abedin told the court that they had an unofficial report on her health condition. "You can observe this and grant bail before getting the official medical report," he said.
However, in response to the plea by the attorney general, the bench gave the authorities until December 11 to submit the report.
The pro-BNP lawyers then started shouting, demanding a hearing immediately. The state lawyers protested against them.
At one stage, the deputy attorney general and the pro-BNP lawyers locked into a mayhem in the presence of the six justices.
The lawyers of Khaleda started saying, "We will not leave the court without her bail." Around 10am, the bench moved to the special chambers. But the lawyers still continued chanting in the courtroom.
Some of the pro-Awami League lawyers, including the attorney general, also stayed inside the courtroom until around 11am.
A little after 11am, the justices returned to the courtroom. The pro-BNP lawyers started protesting as the justices wanted to start the hearing of another case. They demanded that the hearing of the bail petition be held. In response, the chief justice told them that a date had been fixed for the case and they should leave.
Jainul Abedin stood on the dais at that time. The chief justice said he had never seen such a situation in the courtroom before.
BNP lawyer Khandokar Mahbub Hossain said he wanted to say something. The court said the order had been passed and it would not hear any words anymore.
The BNP lawyers then started shouting again.
During the chaotic situation, cases were called for hearing as per the serial.
When Azmalul Hossain stood for the hearing of bail petitions filed by Destiny's Managing Director Rafiqul Amin and Chairman Mohammad Hossain, the BNP lawyers started thumping tables.
They said no hearings will be held without the hearing for Khaleda Zia's bail petition. At this stage, pro-government and pro-BNP lawyers got involved in a scuffle pushing each other.
The pro-BNP lawyers chanted slogans "We want justice" and "Khaleda Zia".
Then the court fixed December 12 for the hearing of the case lawyer Azmalul stood for and the justices left the court.
The court could not hold any other hearing.
Terming the chaos unprecedented, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam urged the chief justice to take action against the pro-BNP lawyers.
"It is an attempt by the pro-BNP lawyers to pressure the Appellate Division, which is tantamount to contempt of court. The chaos they made is unprecedented. The judges at one stage were forced to leave the courtroom, it was disgusting. We condemn such anarchy," he said at a press briefing at the Supreme Court Bar Association building in the afternoon.
Bar Association's President AM Amin Uddin, who also spoke at the briefing, also called for stern action against the unruly lawyers.
"I have never witnessed such an incident at the Supreme Court. It is sad. I strongly condemn this kind of behaviour. They once again proved that they do not believe in the rule of law. They do not believe in the court and the judiciary," he said.
The bar president further said many of those who created the chaos inside the courtroom were not even lawyers.
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, member secretary of the Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad, a platform of pro-Liberation War lawyers, said the BNP had hired people and brought them to the Supreme Court.
"It was an evil attempt to destabilise the court arena and we strongly protest such acts. General lawyers would prevent this evil attempt of the BNP to tarnish the image of the judiciary," he added.