54 ordinances to be made law: RTI, HR commission, consumer rights among the ordinances picked by JS special committee :::: The Daily Star, 16 February 2009

The special committee of parliament yesterday made its final recommendation for ratifying 54 ordinances out of 122 promulgated just before and during the immediate past caretaker government.

After an exhaustive meeting in Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, the committee last night came up with the final list.

The much talked about Right to Information Ordinance, Human Rights Commission Ordinance, and Consumers Rights Protection Ordinance are also on the final list.

The committee decided not to recommend for ratification 68 ordinances, meaning over a half of the ordinances will cease to have any effect after 30 days since their introduction to the parliament on January 25.

The committee will meet again on Tuesday to discuss whether a legal cover is required for the immediate past caretaker government’s regime of two years, as the constitution allowed it to stay in power only 90 days.

If a legal cover is required, the constitution will be amended to give the regime the required coverage.

After yesterday’s meeting, Advocate Rahmat Ali, chairman of the committee, told reporters that the committee recommended the ordinances for ratification considering public interest, although those had been promulgated by the caretaker government by stepping out of its constitutional jurisdiction.

Defending the recommendations, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed echoed Rahmat Ali.

The final list of ordinances to be ratified includes three which transformed Biman Bangladesh, Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board, and Dhaka Electricity Supply Authority into public limited companies from their previous status of government agencies.

Earlier, the three ordinances had been dropped from the possible list of ordinances for ratification.

The law minister said the ordinances for ratification will be placed in the parliament as bills soon.

The committee chairman said once the bills are placed in the parliament, it will not be mandatory to pass them within 30 days of their initial introduction to the House on January 25.

Eminent jurists also attended the special committee’s meeting and gave their expert opinions about the ordinances.

Emerging from the committee meeting, jurists Mahmudul Islam and Dr M Zahir said they suggested 31 ordinances for ratification, which were promulgated by the immediate past caretaker government staying within the bounds of its jurisdiction provided by the article 58 (D) of the constitution.

They however added that they also told the committee that it might consider some other ordinances for ratification as well.

The jurists earlier had recommended 50 ordinances for ratification. Later in a meeting, the special committee picked some more of the ordinances for ratification, increasing the number to 54.

“We did not pick for ratification any ordinance that contradicts the constitution,” Advocate Rahmat Ali said.


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