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TICFA agreement challenged

New Age Online

A writ petition was filed on Wednesday in public interest, seeking a directive on the government to explain as to why signing of Trade and Investigation Framework Agreement between the USA and Bangladesh should not be declared unconstitutional.
In the writ petition that was filed by three Supreme Court lawyers Md. Nasir Uddin, Ariful Islam, and M Monirul Islam Khan, and an individual citizen Abdullah Al Mamun, also prayed for a directive to prevent the authorities from taking further steps to implement the Treaty signed on November 25, 2013 at Washington DC.
The secretaries to the cabinet division, the prime minister office, law, commerce, foreign ministries, and USA ambassador to Bangladesh were made respondent to the writ petition.
The writ petition stated that the treaty was signed in violation of the article 145A of the Constitution which states ‘all treaties with foreign countries shall be submitted to the President, who shall cause them to be laid before Parliament. Provided that any such treaty connected with national security shall be laid in a secret session of Parliament.’
The petition said that the USA signed TIFA only with relatively small developing countries and economic blocs. None of the large emerging countries, Argentina, Brazil, China or India had agreed to sign TIFA. The only developed countries to sign TIFA are Iceland, Switzerland and New Zealand.
There was a conspiracy that the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) facilities was introduced only with the aim to put pressure on the government on signing TICFA or face withdrawal of GSP facilities at one stage on flimsy grounds, said the petitioners.




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