JS panel clears contempt of court billStaff Correspondent
The parliamentary panel on law ministry on Wednesday cleared the Contempt of Courts Bill- 2011 that keeps provisions to exempt public servants from contempt proceedings after retirement and the media if they publish objective reports.
The committee cleared the bill 19 months after it was placed in the house.
Committee member M Rahmat Ali told reporters that the bill would be placed in the house in the next session for passage.
Committee members said the bill keeps a provision that a public servant facing contempt charge would be exempted from proceedings even after retirement and his replacement would also be immune to such proceedings.
It also exempted media from contempt charge if they published objective news reports.
It also keeps a provision that bars putting anyone on the dock without giving him right to self-defence.
The minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs, Shafique Ahmed, on June14, 2011 placed the bill in the house with an aim to reframe the age-old contempt of court act of 1926.
The proposed bill has a provision stipulating that publication or their distribution would not be considered as contempt of court if there are no logical reasons to believe that the matters are pending with a court.
However, the provision would not be applicable if it violates the existing laws on publication and printing of books.
The bill also proposed not to consider as contempt of court if a news report published on any court proceedings was found unbiased and objective.
Besides, no person could be convicted of contempt of court if he or she makes a statement or comments in good faith about the presiding judges of the lower courts to other lower courts or the Supreme Court.
The bill also proposed not to consider as contempt of court a disclosure of information about the trial at chamber or in camera, excepting some cases.
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