Shahiduzzaman, NewAge, July 17, 2008
The attorney general, Fida M Kamal, resigned on Wednesday.
‘I have tendered my resignation,’ Fida Kamal told reporters at about 8:15pm at the law ministry where he attended a meeting behind closed doors with the law adviser, AF Hassan Ariff, for about four hours and three quarters.
Asked about the reason for his resignation, he said, ‘I have resigned on personal grounds.’ Sources in the attorney general’s office said the resignation came after a recent tug of war between the military-controlled interim government and the highest law officer of the government over a number of issues, including promulgation of the Government Attorney Service Ordinance 2008, establishment of the government attorney services directorate, conflicts between the attorney general’s office and various government organisations and agencies and non-appearance of Fida Kamal for hearing in various important cases.
Fida Kamal, however, made no comment when he was asked whether any difference of opinion with the government prompted him to resign. He was appointed attorney general on February 5, 2007. Before assuming the office of attorney general, he had been additional attorney general since June 26, 2002. His resignation came after the High Court on July 13 had ruled the president could promulgate no ordinance making provisions not directly related to elections.
Speculations had been rife for some days in different quarters, including the legal arena, over the possibility of his resignation. In his tenure as attorney general, Fida Kamal did not appear in courts during the hearing in various important cases, including the cases involving the Emergency Powers Rules, cases against former prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, and the writ petition challenging the Supreme Judicial Council Ordinance 2008.
In almost all cases in which he did not appear, the government lost the legal battle and this has angered the interim administration, sources in the law ministry said.
Lastly, the High Court bench of Justice ABM Khairul Huq and Justice Abu Tarique had asked Fida Kamal to appear during the hearing in a writ petition that challenged the authority of the interim government to promulgate ordinances.
The court finally delivered the verdict in the case on July 13 giving a rule that the president could promulgate no ordinance making provisions not directly related to elections. His absence in the hearing in such important cases was found by different government offices and agencies as deliberate, the law ministry sources said.
Sources in his office also said different offices and agencies recently questioned him about such of his absence. He also angered the authorities by not giving traditional felicitations to the immediate past chief justice on his retirement and the present chief justice on his assumption of office.
For the first time in the history of Bangladesh, an attorney general refrained from giving felicitations to the outgoing or the new chief justice. Fida Kamal had told New Age at the time that he had gone by the decision of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Fida Kamal recently got involved in a tug of war with the government as it promulgated the Government Attorney Services Ordinance 2008 on May 18 and formed the government attorney services directorate on June 2 without consulting him.
He opposed the ordinance and the formation of the directorate, formed to regulate the services of the government law officers, as the ordinance had no role for the the attorney general in regulating the services.
According to the sources in his office, he had also been in conflict with the government over the relationship between his office and government offices and agencies. He had also made some recommendations on the issues, but the government allegedly did not heed them.