Bangladesh eases government control on courts

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Dhaka, Feb 12: Bangladesh is seeking to make its judiciary more independent by stripping control of lower courts and court appointments from a government ministry, officials said today.

The country's Supreme Court will now be responsible for all judicial affairs, according to a law signed by President Iajuddin Ahmed. The law comes into effect immediately.

The president will appoint a chief justice who will then appoint a supreme court. Previously, the so-called ''Establishment Ministry'' was responsible for all court affairs below the Supreme Court.

Bangladesh's legal system is considered by locals and foreigners to be frequently inefficient and sometimes corrupt, and officials hope the shake-up the latest by the interim government ahead of yet-to-be scheduled elections will give the judiciary more honesty and independence.

The moves comes on the heels of a major anti-corruption drive which has seen dozens of arrests including those of senior government officials and politicians.

The election, originally set for January 22, was postponed in the wake of violence between rival political parties in which 45 people were killed and hundreds injured.


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