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Govt asked to explain delay

M Moneruzzaman

The High Court on Monday asked the government to explain in two weeks why the Bengali Language Introduction Act 1987 would not be implemented immediately in all its offices and courts.
In an interim order, the court directed the government to immediately install Bangla name plates in all its offices.
The respondents, the cabinet secretary, the home secretary, the law secretary and the cultural affairs secretary have been asked to submit compliance report in the next hearing set for April 1.
The directive would not be applicable for the foreign embassies in Bangladesh.
A bench of Justice Quazi Reza-Ul Hoque and Justice ABM Altaf Hossain also asked the government to take steps immediately to get the non-Bangla names and nomenclatures of electronic media replaced.
The directive is also applicable for vehicle number plates.
The advertisers have been asked to write all advertisement copies in Bangla.
The directive would be equally applicable to the media publishing advertisements.
All bill boards should be in Bangla, said the court in the order after hearing a public interest litigation writ petition.
The judges wrote the order in Bangla.
 On Sunday, Supreme Court lawyer Md Eunus Ali Akond filed the petition seeking directives on the government for the implementation of the Bengali Language Introduction Act 1987.
Section 3(1) of the law calls for making all official correspondence and conducting court proceedings and keeping official records in Bangla, submitted the petitioner.
The law in question would not be applicable in the conduct of foreign relations, he submitted.
The law made filing appeals or petitions in any language other than Bangla illegal, submitted the petitioner.
Violation of the law also provides for action against civil servants under the service rules, the petitioner submitted. 
The petitioner regretted that no steps were taken to implement the law in 26 years since it was enacted.
On the contrary, the rising use of English in offices and courts constitutes an offence under the Bengali Language Introduction Act, submitted the petitioner.
Naming Border Guard Bangladesh in English also violates the Constitution and the Bengali Language Introduction Act, he submitted.           

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