Constitution of the People

Preamble The constitution of Bangladesh starts with a preamble which is described as the guiding star of the Constitution. This Preamble contains the legal as well as moral basis of the Constitution. It also identifies the objectives and aims of the state. PART I THE REPUBLIC 1. The Republic. Bangladesh is a unitary, independent, sovereign Republic to be known as the People's Republic of Bangladesh. 2A. The state religion. The state religion of the Republic is Islam, but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony in the Republic.

3. The state language. The state language of the Republic is Bangla. 4. National anthem, flag and emblem. (1) The national anthem of the Republic is the first ten lines of "Amar Sonar Bangla". (2) The national flag of the Republic shall consist of a circle, colored red throughout its area , resting on a green background. 5. The capital. (1) The capital of the Republic is Dhaka. (2. ) The boundaries of the capital shall be determined by law. 6. Citizenship. (1) The citizenship of Bangladesh shall be determined and regulated by law.

(2) The citizens of Bangladesh shall be known as Bangladeshis. ] 7. Supremacy of the Constitution. (1) All powers in the Republic belong to the people, and their exercise on behalf of the people shall be effected only under, and by the authority of, this Constitution. (2) This Constitution is, as the solemn expression of the will of the people, the supreme law of the Republic, and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution and other law shall , to the extent of the inconsistency, be void. PART II FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY 8. Fundamental principles.

(1) The principles of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah, nationalism, democracy and socialism meaning economic and social justice, together with the principles derived from them as set out in this Part, shall constitute the fundamental principles of state policy. 11. Democracy and human rights. The Republic shall be a democracy in which fundamental human rights and freedoms and respect for the dignity and worth of the human person shall be guaranteed, and in which effective participation by the people through their elected representatives in administration at all levels shall be ensured.

15. Provision of basic necessities. It shall be a fundamental responsibility of the State to attain, through planned economic growth, a constant increase of productive forces and a steady improvement in the material and cultural standard of living of the people, with a view to securing to its citizens- (a) the provision of the basic necessities of life, including food, clothing, shelter, education and medical care; (b) the right to work, that is the right to guaranteed employment at a reasonable wage having regard to the quantity and quality of work. 19. Equality of opportunity.

(1) The State shall endeavor to ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens. (2) The State shall adopt effective measures to remove social and economic inequality between man and man and to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth among citizens, and of opportunities in order to attain a uniform level of economic development throughout the Republic. 21. Duties of citizens and of public servants. (1) It is the duty of every citizen to observe the Constitution and the laws, to maintain discipline, to perform public duties and to protect public property.

(2) Every person in the service of the Republic has a duty to strive at all times to serve the people. PART III FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS 27. Equality before law. All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law. 29. Equality of opportunity in public employment. (1) There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in respect of employment or office in the service of the Republic. (2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect of, any employment or office in the service of the Republic. 31. Right to protection of law.

To enjoy the protection of the law, and to be treated in accordance with law, and only in accordance with law, is the inalienable right of every citizen, wherever he may be, and of every other person for the time being within Bangladesh, and in particular no action detrimental to the life, liberty, body, reputation or property of any person shall be taken except in accordance with law. 36. Freedom of movement. Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the public interest, every citizen shall have the right to move freely throughout Bangladesh, to reside and settle in any place therein and to leave and re-enter Bangladesh. 39.

Freedom of thought and conscience, and of speech. (1) Freedom or thought and conscience is guaranteed. (2) Subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of the security of the State, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence- (a) the right of every citizen of freedom of speech and expression; and freedom of the press, are guaranteed. 42. Rights to property. (1)

Subject to any restrictions imposed by law, every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold, transfer or otherwise dispose of property, and no property shall be compulsorily acquired, nationalized or requisitioned save by authority of law. PART IV THE EXECUTIVE CHAPTER I – THE PRESIDENT 48. The President. (1) There shall be a President of Bangladesh who shall be elected by members of Parliament in accordance with law. (2) The President shall as Head of State, take precedence over all other persons in the State, and shall exercise the powers and perform the duties conferred and imposed on him by this Constitution and by any other law.

(3) In the exercise of all his functions, save only that of appointing the Prime Minister pursuant to clause (3) of article 56 and the Chief Justice pursuant to clause (1) of article 95, the President shall act in accordance with the advice of the Prime Minister; Provided that the question whether any, and if so what, advice has been tendered by the Prime Minister to the President shall not be enquired into in any court. (4)

A person shall not be qualified for election as President if he- (a) is less than thirty-five years of age; or (b) is not qualified for election a member of Parliament; or (c) has been removed from the office of President by impeachment under this Constitution. (5) The Prime Minister shall keep the President informed on matters of domestic and foreign policy, and submit for the consideration of the Cabinet any matter which the President may request him to refer to it. CHAPTER II – THE PRIME MINISTER AND THE CABINET 55. The Cabinet. (1) There shall be a Cabinet for Bangladesh having the Prime Minister at its head and comprising also such other Minister as the Prime Minister may from time to time designate.

(2) The executive power of the Republic shall, in accordance with this Constitution, be exercised by or on the authority of the Prime Minister. (3) The Cabinet shall be collectively responsible to Parliament. (4) All executive actions of the Government shall be expressed to be taken in the name of the President. (5) The President shall by rules specify the manner in which orders and other instruments made in his name shall be attested of authenticated, and the validity or any order of instrument so attested or authenticated shall not be questioned in any court on the ground that it was not duly made or executed.

(6) The President shall make rules for the allocation and transaction of the business of the Government. CHAPTER IIA NON-PARTY CARE TAKER GOVERNMENT 58B. Non-Party Care-taker Government (1) There shall be a Non-Party Care-taker Government during the period from the date on which the Chief Adviser of such government enters upon office after Parliament is dissolved or stands dissolved by reason of expiration of its term till the date on which a new Prime Minister enters upon his office after the constitution of Parliament. (2) The Non-Party Care-taker Government shall be collectively responsible to the President.

(3) The executive power of the Republic shall, during the period mentioned in clause (1), be exercised, subject to the provisions of article 58D(1), in accordance with this Constitution, by or on the authority of the Chief Adviser and shall be exercised by him in accordance with the advice of the Non-Party Care-taker Government. (4) The provisions of article 55(4), (5) and (6) shall (with the necessary adaptations) apply to similar matters during the period mentioned in clause (1). 58D. Functions of Non-Party Care-taker Government.

(1) The Non-Party Care-taker Government shall discharge its functions as an interim government and shall carry on the routine functions of such government with the aid and assistance of persons in the services of the Republic; and, except in the case of necessity for the discharge of such functions its shall not make any policy decision. (2) The Non-Party Care-taker Government shall give to the Election Commission all possible aid and assistance that may be required for bolding the general election of members of parliament peacefully, fairly and impartially.

CHAPTER III LOCAL GOVERNMENT 59. Local Government (1) Local Government in every administrative unit of the Republic shall be entrusted to bodies, composed of persons elected in accordance with law. (2) Everybody such as is referred to in clause (1) shall, subject to this Constitution and any other law, perform within the appropriate administrative unit such functions as shall be prescribed by Act of Parliament, which may include functions relating to- (a) Administration and the work of public officers;

(b) the maintenance of public order; the preparation and implementation of plans relating to public services and economic development. PART V THE LEGISLATURE CHAPTER I – PARLIAMENT 65. Establishment of Parliament (1) There shall be a Parliament for Bangladesh (to be known as the House of the Nation) in which subject to the provisions of this Constitution, shall be vested the legislative powers of the Republic:

Provided that nothing in this clause shall prevent Parliament from delegating to any person or authority, by Act of Parliament, power to make orders, rules, regulations, bye-laws or other instruments having legislative effect. (2) Parliament shall consist of three hundred members to be elected in accordance with law from single territorial constituencies by direct election and, for so long as clause (3) is effective, the members provided for in that clause; the member shall be designated as Members of Parliament.

(3)The seat of Parliament shall be in the capital. 69. Penalty for member sitting or voting before taking oath If a person sits or votes as a member of Parliament before he makes or subscribes the oath or affirmation in accordance with this Constitution, or when he knows that he is not qualified or is disqualified for membership thereof, he shall be liable in respect of each day on which he so sits or votes to a penalty of one thousand taka to be recovered as a debt due to the Republic.

73A. Rights of Ministers as respects Parliament (1) Every Minister shall have the right to speak in, and otherwise to take part in the proceedings of, Parliament, but shall not be entitled to vote or to speak on any matter not related to his Ministry unless he is a member of Parliament also. . (2) In this article, "Minister" includes a Prime Minister, Minister of State and Deputy Minister. 74. Speaker and Deputy Speaker

Parliament shall at the first sitting after any general election elect from among its members a Speaker and a deputy Speaker, and if either office becomes vacant shall within seven days or, if Parliament is not then sitting, at its first meeting thereafter, elect one of its members to fill the vacancy. CHAPTER II- LEGISLATIVE AND FINANCIAL PROCEDURES 80. Legislative procedure (1) Every proposal in Parliament for making law shall be made in the form of a Bill.

(2) When a Bill is passed by Parliament it shall be presented to the President for assent. (3) The President, within fifteen days after a Bill is presented to him shall assent to the Bill or, in the case of a Bill other than a money Bill may return it to parliament with a message requesting that the Bill or any particular provisions thereof by reconsidered, and that any amendments specified by him in the message be considered; and if he fails so to do he shall be deemed to have assented to the Bill at the expiration of that period.

(4) If the President so returns the Bill Parliament shall consider it together with the President's message, and if the Bill is again passed by Parliament with or without amendments 51 by the votes of a majority of the total number of members of Parliament , it shall be presented to the President for his assent, whereupon the President shall assent to the Bill within the period of seven days after it has been presented to him, and if he fails to do so he shall be deemed to have assented to the Bill on the expiration of that period.

(5) When the President has assented or is deemed to have assented to a Bill passed by Parliament it shall become law and shall be called an Act of Parliament. 84. Consolidated Fund and the Public Account of the Republic (1) All revenues received by the Government, all loans raised by the Government, and all moneys received by it in repayment of any loan, shall form part of one fund to be known as the Consolidated Fund. (2) All other public moneys received by or on behalf of the Government shall be credited to the Public Account of the Republic. CHAPTER III- ORDINANCE MAKING POWER 93.

(1) At any time when Parliament stands dissolved or is not in session , if the President is satisfied that circumstances exist which render immediate action necessary, he may make and promulgate such Ordinances as the circumstances appear to him to require, and any Ordinance so made shall, as from its promulgation have the like force of law as an Act of Parliament: Provided that no Ordinance under this clause shall make any provision- (i) which could not lawfully be made under this Constitution by Act of Parliament; (ii) for altering or repealing any provision of this Constitution; or (iii) continuing in force any provision of an Ordinance previously made. (2)

An Ordinance made under clause (1) shall be laid before Parliament at its first meeting following the promulgation of the Ordinance and shall, unless it is earlier repealed, cease to have effect at the expiration of thirty days after it is so laid or, if a resolution disapproving of the Ordinance is passed by Parliament before such expiration, upon the passing of the resolution. (3) At any time when.

Parliament stands dissolved the President may, if he is satisfied that circumstances exist which render such action necessary, make and promulgate an Ordinance authorizing expenditure from the Consolidated Fund, whether the expenditure is charged by the Constitution upon that fund or not, and any Ordinance so made shall, as from its promulgation, have the like force of law as an Act of Parliament. PART VI THE JUDICIARY CHAPTER I- THE SUPREME COURT 94. Establishment of Supreme Court (1) There shall be a Supreme Court for Bangladesh (to be Known as the Supreme Court of Bangladesh) comprising the Appellate Division and the High Court Division. (2)

The Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice, to be known as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh, and such number of other Judges as the President may deem it necessary to appoint to each division. (3) The Chief Justice, and the Judges appointed to the Appellate Division, shall sit only in that division, and the other Judges shall sit only in the High Court Division.

(4) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the Chief Justice and the other Judges shall be independent in the exercise of their judicial functions. 100. Seat of Supreme Court The permanent seat of the Supreme Court, shall be in the capital, but sessions of the High Court Division may be held at such other place or places as the Chief Justice may, with the approval of the President, from time to time appoint. Article 100 as amended by the said Act runs thus:- "100. Seat of Supreme Court. - (1) Subject to this article, the permanent seat of the Supreme Court shall be in the capital. (2) The High Court Division and the Judges thereo shall sit at the permanent seat of the Supreme Court and at the seats of its permanent Benches.

(3) The High Court Division shall have a permanent Bench each at Barisal, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Rangpur and Sylhet, and each permanent Bench shall have such Benches as the Chief Justice may determine from time to time. 102. Powers of High Court Division to issue certain orders and directions, etc. (1) The High Court Division on the application of any person aggrieved, may give such directions or orders to any person or authority, including any person performing any function in connection with the affairs of the Republic, as may be appropriate for the enforcement of any the fundamental rights conferred by Part III of this Constitution. (2) The High Court Division may, if satisfied that no other equally efficacious remedy is provided by law-

(a) on the application of any person aggrieved, make an order- (i) directing a person performing any functions in connection with the affairs of the Republic or of a local authority to refrain from doing that which he is not permitted by law to do or to do that which he is required by law to do; or (ii) declaring that any act done or proceeding taken by a person performing functions in connection with the affairs of the Republic or of a local authority has been done or taken without lawful authority and is of no legal effect; or (b) on the application of any person, make an order- (i) directing that a person in custody be brought before it so that it may satisfy itself that he is not being held in custody without lawful authority or in an unlawful manner; (ii) requiring a person holding or purporting to hold a public office to show under what authority he claims to hold that office. (3)

Notwithstanding anything contained in the foregoing clauses, the High Court Division shall have no power under this article to pass any interim or other order in relation to any law to which article 47 applies. 107.

Rule making power of the Supreme Court (1) Subject to any law made by Parliament the Supreme Court may, with the approval of the President, make rules for regulating the practice and procedure of each division of the Supreme Court and of any court subordinate to it. (2) The Supreme Court may delegate any of its functions under clause (1) and article 113 to a division of that Court or to one or more Judges. (3) Subject to any rules made under this article the Chief Justice shall determine which Judge are to constitute any Bench of a division of the Supreme Court 63* * * * * and which Judges are to sit for any purpose. PART VII ELECTIONS 118. Establishment of Election Commission.

(1) There shall an Election Commission for Bangladesh consisting of a Chief Election Commissioner and such number of other Election Commissioners, if any as the President may from time to time direct, and the appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and other Election commissioners (if any) shall, subject to the provisions of any law made in that behalf, be made by the President. (2) When the Election Commission consists of more than one person, the Chief Election Commissioner shall act as the chairman thereof. (3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the term of office of an Election Commissioner shall be five years from the date on which he enters upon his office, and- (a) a person who has held office as Chief Election Commissioner shall not be eligible for appointment in the service of the Republic;

(b) any other election Commissioner shall, on ceasing to hold office as such, be eligible for appointment as Chief Election Commissioner but shall not be otherwise eligible for appointment in the service of the Republic. (4) The Election Commission shall be independent in the exercise of its functions and subject only to this Constitution and any other law. (5) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, the conditions of service of Election Commissioners shall be such as the President may, by order, determine: Provided that an Election Commissioner shall not be removed from his office except in like manner and on the like grounds as a judge of the 72 Supreme Court. (6) An Election Commissioner may resign his office by writing under his hand address to the President. 119. Functions of Election Commission.

(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the election rolls for elections to the office or President and to Parliament and the conduct of such elections shall vest in the Election Commission which shall, in accordance with his Constitution and any other law- (a) hold elections to the office of President; (b) hold elections of members of Parliament; (c) delimit the constituencies for the purpose of elections to Parliament; and (d) prepare electoral roles for the purpose of elections to the office of President and to Parliament. (2) The Election Commission shall perform such functions, in addition to those specified in the foregoing clauses, as may be prescribed by this Constitution or by any other law. 124. Parliament may make provision as to elections.

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, Parliament may by law make provision with respect to all matters relating to or in connection with election to Parliament, including the delimitation of constituencies, the preparation of electoral rolls, the holding of elections, and all other matters necessary for securing the due Constitution of Parliament. PART IX THE SERVICES OF BANGLADESH 133.

Appointment and conditions of service Subject to the provisions of this Constitution Parliament may by law regulate the appointment and conditions of service of person in the service of the Republic: Provided that it shall be competent for the President to make rules regulating the appointment and the conditions of service such person until provision in that behalf is made by or under any law, and rules so made shall have effect subject to the provisions of any such law. 140. Functions of public service Commissions (1)

The functions of a public service commission shall be-(a) to conduct tests examinations for the selection of suitable persons for appointment of the service of the Republic; (b) to advise the President on any matter on which the commission is consulted under clause (2) or on any matter connected with its functions which is referred to the commission by the President; and (c) such other functions as may be prescribed by law. (2) Subject to the provisions of any law made by Parliament, and any regulation (not inconsistent with such law) which may be made by the President after consultation with a commission, the President shall consult a commission with respect to- (a) matters relating to qualifications for, and methods of recruitment to, the service of the Republic;

(b) the principles to be followed in making appointments to that service and promotions and transfers from one branch of the service to another, and the suitability of candidates for such appointment, promotions and transfers; (c) matters affecting the terms and conditions (including person rights) of that service; and (d) the discipline of the service. PART X AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION 142. Power to amend any provision of the Constitution (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Constitution- (a) any provision thereof may by 92 amended by way of addition, alteration, substitution or repeal by Act of Parliament:

Provided that- (i) no Bill for such amendment 91* * shall be allowed to proceed unless the long title thereof expressly states that it will amend 91* * a provision of the Constitution; (ii) no such Bill shall be presented to the President for assent unless it is passed by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of Parliament; (b) when a Bill passed as aforesaid is presented to the President for his assent he shall, within the period of seven days after the Bill is presented to him assent to the Bill, and if he fails so to do he shall be deemed to have assented to it on the expiration of that period. (1A)

Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (1), when a Bill, passed as a aforesaid,, which provides for the amendment of the Preamble or any provisions of articles 8, 48, 56 or this article, is presented to the President for assent, the President, shall within the period of seven days, after the Bill is presented to him, cause to be referred to a referendum the question whether the Bill should or should not be assented to.

(1B) A referendum under this article shall be conducted by the Election Commission, within such period and in such manner as may be provided by law, amongst the person enrolled on the electoral roll prepared for the purpose of election to Parliament. (1C) On the day on which the result of the referendum conducted in relation to a Bill under this article is declared, the President shal be deemed to have- (a) assented to the Bill, if the majority of the total votes cast are in favour of the Bill being assented to; or in the Cabinet or Parliament (2) Nothing in article 26 shall apply to any amendment made under this article. PART XI MISCELLANEOUS 143.

Property of the Republic (1) There shall vest in the Republic, in addition to any other land or property lawfully vested- (a) all minerals and other things of value underlying any land of Bangladesh; (b) all lands, minerals and other things of value underlying the ocean within the territorial waters, or the ocean over the continental shelf, of Bangladesh; and (c) any property located in Bangladesh that has no rightful owner. (2) Parliament may from time to time by law provide for the determination of the boundaries of the territory of Bangladesh and of the territorial waters and the continental shelf of Bangladesh. 153. Commencement, citation and authenticity.

(1) This Constitution may be cited as the Constitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and shall come into force on the sixteenth day of December, 1972, in this Constitution referred to as the commencement of this Constitution. (2) There shall be an authentic text of this Constitution in Bengali, and an authentic text of an authorised translation in English, both of which shall be certified as such by the Speaker of the Constituent Assembly. (3) A text certified in accordance with clause (2) shall be conclusive evidence of the provisions of this Constitution: Provided that in the event of conflict between the Bengali and the English text, the Bengali text shall prevail.