Some Insights on the Constitutional Violations in Bangladesh


The Constitution is the supreme law of a state, which is the guardian of the overall security of the people. The Constitution is the pledge or agreement of the state with its citizens. The state cannot violate this agreement for any reason. However, the Constitution is being violated by those in power in their every steps. Everything has become partial due to violation of the Constitution. Those who are responsible are not fulfilling their responsibility to protect the constitution. They are playing at the will of their lord.

According to Article 18A of the Constitution, ” The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to preserve and safeguard the natural resources, bio-diversity, wetlands, forests and wildlife for the present and future citizens.” But the country’s big business entities are filling up wetlands, canals, rivers and crop lands with dredgers for housing projects. For these farmers are crying. But their cry is not reaching the ears of the administration.

The recruitment or promotion in government service has been entrusted for the children of the ruling class. On the other hand, if the family or close relative of the job seeker belongs to the opposition party, then the recruitment or promotion is completely stopped, the government is following this policy. However, Article 29 of the Constitution states that, “(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.(3) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from –(a) making special provision in favor of any backward section of citizens for the purpose of securing their adequate representation in the service of the Republic;(b) giving effect to any law which makes provision for reserving appointments relating to any religious or denominational institution to persons of that religion or denomination;(c) reserving for members of one sex any class of employment or office on the ground that it is considered by its nature to be unsuited to members of the opposite sex.

Recently, a new word has been introduced in the political arena. No civil assembly can be held without the permission of the police. However, Article 36, Article 37 Article 38, and Article 39 respectively guarantee Freedom of Movement, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Association and Freedom of Thought and Conscience, and of Speech.

Article 36 states that, “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.”

Article 37 states that, “Every citizen shall have the right to assemble and to participate in public meetings and processions peacefully and without arms, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of public order or public health.”

Article 38 states that, “Every citizen shall have the right to form associations or unions, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interests of morality or public order: Provided that no person shall have the right to form, or be a member of the said association or union, if-(a) it is formed for the purposes of destroying the religious, social and communal harmony among the citizens;(b) it is formed for the purposes of creating discrimination among the citizens, on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or language;(c) it is formed for the purposes of organizing terrorist acts or militant activities against the State or the citizens or any other country;(d) its formation and objects are inconsistent with the Constitution.”

Article 39 states that, “(1) Freedom of 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 to freedom of speech and expression; and(b) freedom of the press, are guaranteed.

All the constitutional position holders have taken an oath to keep this Constitution effective and to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution. But breaking the oath is the common practice of those who have Taken the oath to protect it.

Mahmudul Hasan
Mahmudul Hasan
Mahmudul Hasan is a recent LL.M. graduate of energy and environmental law and Thomas Buergenthal Fellow at The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.