Here are my two cents on the matter:
Originally Posted by BANFAN
Secondly, if a party in power has to make such major changes in the constitution, that has to go through a referendum. And the people will accept or reject the idea. So being a democracy, I don't find that we have any scope of banning an ideology on anticipation of a future violation or amendment!!
...So, lets not act on anticipation. Let the people have their choice. Rather make it tough to change constitution and involve people before any whole sale change of the constitution. Even I'm sacred of Awami or BNP or JP changing constitution so easily with mere 2/3 party majority, without the involvement or approval of the people.
The idea of a 'referendum' is something that isn't recognized in the Constitution as of now.
However, the Constitution is quite clear about which provisions are amendable and which are not. According to Article 7B, "the preamble"
; "all articles of Part 1"
i.e. The Characteristics of the Republic which includes Article 7B itself; "all articles of Part 2"
i.e. Fundamental Principles of State Policy, subject to the provisions on declaring an emergency; "all articles on Part 3"
i.e. Fundamental Rights and those articles that have been declared as part of the "basic structure
" of the Constitution by the courts (such as the Supreme Court's right of judicial review) CANNOT be amended by 2/3rd majority (or changed in any manner really) Those are more than 47 articles protected out of 153 articles!
The rest of the articles, however, CAN be amended. Any further restrictions on the Parliament's powers to legislate would be quite incompatible with the idea of a sovereign parliament, wouldn't it?
Therefore, following from this, I would say that a referendum on 'major changes' is only justified, indeed reasonable, if the people feel that there needs to be a change to the fundamentals or "basic structure", as it were, to the Constitution. This would involve, possibly, the country giving itself a completely new Constitution. Who knows, that might happen some day.
We all know that, it's an Awami politics of hatred and there is hardly anything good which can come out from such politics of hate. If Zamat gets a ban for being Islamist, then even the communist parity should be banned for having a state of no religion, while constitution only guarantees people of all religion...and not without it. Both are very thinly justifiable for a violation of constitution through lots of twist and turn of laws. Even that doesn't demand a ban of the party. Their part constitution can be amended with a clause of "subject to approval by the parliament and referendum" for incorporating changes in the national constitution.
I beg to differ. There is no such thing as "having a state of no religion". Just as Article 28 states that the State shall not discriminate "against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth", Article 39(1) states "Freedom of thought and conscience is guaranteed.
" You cannot be persecuted/prosecuted because you don't have a religion or are a pacifist or whatever. 'Conscience', in this context, is a catch-all term that protects your right not to subscribe to any particular dogma. So, if a Communist is arrested just for being an atheist, then it is clear his fundamental rights are being breached. However, if the Communist is agitating or doing something against "public order" then he/she can be arrested on that ground - not because of his/her religion, or lack thereof.
On the same note, I think if Jamaatis are arrested, it should be based on any public order disturbances/destruction of private and state property/etc. rather than because of the religion they profess. (Freedom of assembly is a qualified right under the Constitution)
I have problem, with the floor crossing ban in the parliament. If lawmakers can't vote against the party on any issue then it's no democracy and why we need so many lawmakers? One party representative should be enough!!
Here, I completely agree with you. I find Article 70 to be abhorrent and think it should be repealed. Other countries have powerful chief whips that exercise their parliamentary powers to compel party members to vote according to a certain line but that is only done occasionally and even then, going against the party line doesn't result in as harsh a penalty as in Bangladesh, where you may lose your seat!!