An extraordinary general meeting of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) to pick its new president after the death of Abdul Matin Khasru has ended in chaos.
Pro-Awami League lawyers declared former president of the association and incumbent attorney general, AM Amin Uddin, as the successor to Khasru.
But their rivals, who are loyal to the BNP, said the meeting on Tuesday was adjourned due to “unfavourable circumstances”.
Khasru, former law minister and a member of the Awami League's Presidium, was elected president of the association in the polls held on Mar 10-11.
The White Panel, backed by pro-Awami League lawyers’ group Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad, ran away with eight positions in the 14-strong committee, taking back control of the SCBA.
The Blue Panel, supported by the pro-BNP lawyers’ organisation Jatiyatabadi Ainjibi Forum, secured the remaining six seats in the committee that has a one-year mandate.
Ruhul Quddus Kazal, a pro-BNP lawyers’ leader, was re-elected secretary of the association.
After Khasru’s death from COVID-19 on Apr 14, Kazal on Apr 27 called the extraordinary general meeting to pick a new president.
The SCBA general secretary had said he would preside over the meeting at the association’s auditorium on Tuesday afternoon.
But Muhammad Shafique Ullah, who was elected vice-president from the pro-Awami League lawyers’ panel, announced at the beginning of the meeting that he would chair it, drawing protests from their rivals.
Kazal said Shafque cannot preside over the meeting because no such decision was made and there was a senior vice-president, reports bdnews24.com.
But Shafique continued: “I’m presiding over the meeting today, and I’m announcing that M Amin Uddin will be the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.”
The pro-government lawyers then supported him with claps while the BNP loyalists booed him.
Kazal announced the adjournment of the meeting at one stage of the chaos, but it continued for another hour.
Later, both sides issued statements by using the association’s letterhead.
“The extraordinary general meeting has been adjourned without any discussions and decisions until further notice due to the situation,” Kazal said in one of the statements.
Shafique said in the other statement that the executive members of the association elected Amin Uddin as the new president in a voice vote.
Amin Uddin told the media he had heard about him being named as president of the association.
“I will work for the development of the Bar for the next two years if I get the chance again,” he said.