Detail Discussion of the amendments:
The fundamental purpose of the first amendment was very good.
This was done in giving the punishment of 195 Prisoners of liberation war in 1971. They committed war crimes, crime against humanity, genocide and other crimes under international law. By this amendment a new clause in Article 47 was inserted (clause-3) which allowed the parliament to make any law for the trial of war criminals “1 It is worthy to mention here that under the authority of this amendment the parliament passed within a weeks the international criminal (Tribunal) Act for the trial of 195 prisoners of war; But all initiative of the government to try them ended in a failure due to tricks played by Bhutlo” 2
In the constitution of Bangladesh 1972, Thee were no Provisions for prevention detention or emergency situation because “during the British colonial rule and then 3 years constitutional history of Pakistan the arbitrary application of preventive detention law and emergency was so bitter that it left a good teaching to the AL that such provision which are contradictory to the concept of nourishing living democracy, would never allow to build normal democratic system. To maintain the colloquial state the British government used these laws under the government of India Act 1935 as necessary weapons to crash the opposition and perpetuates their rule. And launders and thousands of Indians and their leaders had to suffer imprisonment without trial for an indefinite period. After partition the two governor-generals of Pakistan Golam Mohammad and Iskander Mirja used the power of emergency to perpetuate their rule and thereby destroyed all the political institutions. … and hundreds of citizens were put into prison for years together without trial. This bitter experience led the Awami League to make an avowed commitment since the formation of United front in 1954 to repeal not only these black laws but also to remove any scope or prerogative enabling an individual to retard the process of demaoucracy”1
But unfortunately on 22nd September 1973 the then members of the parliament passed the 2nd amendment in exercising and expending their administrative power.
This was done for giving effect to an agreement between Bangladesh and India. The agreement was based on some changes of boundary lines between them.
By 4th amendment the Presidential form of government was introduced in line of parliamentary form of government. It was interdicted by amending article 48(1) of the constitution of Bangladesh 1972.
Article 48(1) of Bangladesh Constitution 1972:
“There shall be of Bangladesh who shall be elected by members of Parliament in accordance with the provisions contained in the second schedule. 1”
Article 48(1) of (amended) Bangladesh consultation, 1972.:
“There shall a president of Bangladesh who shall be elected by members of Parliament in accordance with law”2
In amending article 48(1), the second schedule of original 1972 constitution of Bangladesh was repealed. Besides, “In true Presidential system, as there is the doctrine of separation of power, no minister can be a member of Parliament. But in the 4th amendment it was provided that the president could appoint Ministers from among the members of the parliament or from outside [Art. 58(3)]. There was left therefore, no separation of power.” 1
The following changes were done by 4th amendment:
- It omitted the one party system introduced by 4th (Part-VIA)
- It restored the independence of judiciary (Arts 96 & 116)
- It restored the jurisdiction of the High court division. (44 and 102)
- It inserted the provision of supreme Judicial council. (Art. 96)
- It destroyed the absolute veto power of the President.
(6) It inserted a referendum clause (Art 142)
- It inserted Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim;
- It introduced the nationality term ‘Bangladeshi: (Art. 6)
- Abdul Halim, Constitution, Constitutional Law and Politics: Bangladesh Perspective, 2nd edt. P. 109-110.
- It omitted ‘Secularism’ and introduced the principle of absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah. ‘ (Art. 8)
- It inserted an new explanation of socialism, (Art, 8)
- Provision regarding foreign agreement (Art. 145A)
These were fundamental among changes of 5th amendment.
This amendment made the way for the vice-president to be a candidate in president election, (Arts, 51 & 60)
This amendment legalized 2nd Martial law regime and increased the age of supreme cord Judges, from 62 to 65 years. (Art. 96)
This amendment made the following changes:
- The ward Bangla was substituted for the word ‘Bengali’. (Art, 3)
- The word ‘Dhaka’ was substituted for the word Dacca; (Art. 5)
- Islam was dignified as the state Religion, (Art 2 A)
- The Provision of Six permanent Benched of the High Court Division outside Dhaka was enacted (Arts. 100 and 107.)
These were the major changes of the 8th amendment.
The concerning amended articles were 49, 50, 51, 53, 54, 72, 119, 122, 123, 124, 148, 152, and 4th schedule. This made the following changes:
- Direct election provision for Vice-President.
- Simultaneous election provision for president and vice president.
- Tenure of president of five years.
- Provision for not more than two consecutive terms.
This amendment increased the researched seats of women from 15 to 30 (Art. 65)
This amendment legalized the appointment of Shahabuddin Ahmed chief Justice of Bangladesh as Vice-President of Bangladesh and his all activities as the Acting president. This also legalized the return to his previous position of the chief Justice of Bangladesh.
This amendment revivified the parliamentary form government in place of Presidential form of government.
This amendment introduced the Non-Party caretaker Government’ A new Chapter named Chapter IIA – Non party caretaker Government” was added for this type of new government. These are all about the fundamental subject matters of all amendments.