Abdus Sattar (Md) Vs. Bangladesh

Abdus Sattar (Md) (Petitioner)


Bangladesh, represented by the Secretary, Minis­try of Law & Justice, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and others (Respondents)


Supreme Court

Appellate Division



Shahabuddin Ahmed CJ

ATM Afzal J

Mustafa Kamal J

Latifur Rahman J.

Judgment dated : March 31, 1993.

Lawyers Involved:

Abdul Matin Khasru, Advocate (appeared with leave of the Court), instructed by Md. Nawab Ali, Advocate-on-Record -For the Petitioner.

Not Represented -Respondents.

Civil Petition for Leave to Appeal No. 84 of 1993

(From the Judgment and Order dated 28.2.93 passed by the High Court Division in Writ Petition No. 239 of 1993).


                 Mustafa Kamal J.- This petition for leave to appeal is from the judgment and order dated 28.2.93 passed by a Division Bench of the High Court Division dismissing summarily Writ Petition No. 239 of 1993 in which the petitioner challenged the vires of section 19(2) of the Co-operative Societies Ordinance, 1984 as being violative of Articles 27 and 38 of the Constitution.

2. The petitioner was elected a Member of the Managing Committee of the Kotwali Thana Central Co-operative Association Ltd, Comilla for three consecutive terms, i.e. for the sessions 1986-88, 1988-90 and 1990-92. His term will expire on 5.5.93. Section 19(2) of the Co?operative Societies Ordinance, 1984 provides that no person who has been a Member of a Managing Committee for consecutive 3 years shall be eligible for being elected as an Officer of such Society unless a period of 2 years has elapsed before the expiry of his last term as such a Member.

3. The High Court Division held that the impugned law not only applies against the petitioner but also against all persons who had been Members of a Managing Committee for 3 consecutive terms and therefore there is no violation of Article 27 of the Constitution. The High Court Division also held that there is no violation of Article 38 of the Constitution as the impugned law imposes reasonable restriction and does not curtail or offend the right to form associations or unions.

4. Mr. Abdul Matin Khasru, learned Advocate, appearing with the leave of the Court, submits that to carry forward the Co-operative movement it is essential that the tried and tested people should be allowed to continue to serve the Co-operative Society as an elected Officer so that the Co-operative Society is not deprived from the accumulated experience and wisdom of a veteran leader. He submits that apart from being treated unequally with the other contestants, an unreasonable restriction has been imposed by the impugned law.

5. While the proverb “old is gold” has a fatal attraction, another proverb “the old order changeth yielding place to new” is equally honoured. Which proverb to follow in what given situation is a legislative exercise and it cannot be said that barring a thrice-elected Member of the Managing Committee to stand for election again till the lapse of 2 years since his last term expired, is an unreasonable restriction. The petitioner has not been unequally treated at all because on being elected for 3 consecutive terms he has himself achieved inequality with and superiority to others who did not have the opportunity of being elected for three consecutive terms.

6. We find no merit in the petition. The petition is dismissed.


Source : 45 DLR (AD) (1993) 65