The government will appeal the High Court's ruling that police would require no prior permission to arrest government officials in criminal cases.
This was stated by Farhad Hossain, state minister for public administration, in Parliament on Monday.
In its August 25 decision, the High Court struck down a provision in the 2018 Public Service Act that prevents police from arresting a government official for criminal offence without permission from higher authorities.
Speaking on a bill titled, Public Service (Amendment) Bill 2022, Farhad said that no indemnity had been given for the public servants for their personal crime.
He mentioned that the clause was inducted in the law to protect the public servants from unnecessary harassment and such a provision exist in many countries across the globe including India.
The HC ruling came from the bench of justices Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo. The bench described the 2018 provision as "unconstitutional".
"Constitution is the country's main law and as per the Constitution, everyone is equal in the eyes of the law," the court observed.
"A section has been given special facilities by enacting the provision of getting prior permission to arrest government employees, which is sheer discrimination and violence of articles 26, 27 and 31 of the Constitution," the bench said.
On November 14, 2018, a gazette was issued on Public Service Act, 2018. It was published on September 26, 2019, and came into effect on October 1, 2019.
According to Section 41(1) of the Act, prior permission is needed from the government or higher authorities to arrest a government officer for a criminal offence.
On October 14, 2019, a writ petition was filed challenging the legality of Section 41 (1) of the Act.
Advocates Sarwar Ahad Chowdhury, Eklas Uddin Bhuiya and Mahbubul Islam filed the writ petition on behalf of the Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, an NGO.
On October 21, 2019, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why Section 41 (1) of the Public Service Act should not be declared "illegal and contradictory to articles 26(1) and (2), 27 and 31 of the Constitution".
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