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Introduction
Bangladesh as an independent nation has come into being after the bloodshed of the liberation
war in 1971. The country became able to adopt the constitution institutionally in 1972 .The
newly independent country started their journey with the constitution where all the fundamental
and basic rights of citizens are guaranteed. The constitution also provided judicial institutions
such as The Supreme Court where people can apply for justice, legal assistance and services.
Judicial proceedings and jurisdiction have undergone changes for years for providing justice to
the citizens so that their rights may be ensured constitutionally by the institutions (Iqbal, 2016).
To avoid unnececessary time consuming judicial proceedings, application of court’s own
initiated jurisdiction brought a new chapter for ensuring rights of disadvantages & deprived
section of people in the society. The rule which is introduced by such jurisdiction is called ‘Suo
Moto’ rule. Suo Moto rule brings about a new hope to the people who are crying for justice so
long. The Supreme Court now becoming the savior and protector of the people as the Suo Moto
rule is becoming prevalent for years.
Meaning of Suo Moto Rule
Many legal systems throughout the world retain the use of Latin words or phrases that originated
centuries ago in the legal system of ancient Rome. The term "Suo Moto" is one of those terms
which means ‘of one’s own motion’. The expression implies a consideration, discretion and
option. The court initiates proceedings ‘Suo Moto’, i.e., on its own without any party
approaching for it. Mostly, the court intervenes so as to check the abuse of power by the
executive, often in cases of violation of human rights and public interest (The Express
Tribune, 2012)
Suo Moto
Of Ones’s own
motion
2
Suo motu rule can be made for ‘Jonoswarthe Mamla’ in order to defend people from
harassment of case and to have rapid adjudication of case result.
Jonoswartho means general interest or general rights of common public in which a distinct
community’s or nations interest is considered to be related.
Jonoswarhthe mamla means a legal initiative lead by the court to uphold the rights or interest
of general public. In such type of case the judge or the court introduces the case by itself other
than the application of the aggrieved person (Islam, 2014).
Importance of Suo Moto rule
 Suo Moto rule makes the judiciary effective by applying constitutional power of
discretion by the Judges when basic rights of people are ravished in a country.
 Judicial proceedings are accomplished in a short period of time and people’s sufferings
are reduced rapidly.
 Turn back general people’s confidence towards the judicial system of the court.
 Establish rule of law by giving the unprivileged section of people justice.
 Attract the government to take necessary steps against the public institutions and its
actors when they disobey laws and deprive common people from providing services
which they deserve.
 Discourage powerful people to involve in illegal works as their attitudes and functions
are being monitored.
 Different service providing agencies in the country become alert when they try to misuse
their power and position.
 Electronic and print media’s published reports on any unusual case make the judge to act
as a concerned citizen in the state affairs.
Constitutional provision for Suo Moto Rule in Bangladesh
The constitution of Bangladesh provides the legal basis under which the court or the judges of
the court can exercise their position in initiating Suo Moto rule for giving the deprived people of
the society their rights through judicial actions. The following are the legal provisions:
3
1. According to Article 27 of the constitution, 'All citizens are equal before law and are
entitled to equal protection of law'.
2. It is stated in Article 31 that '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'.
3. Moreover, constitution has provided high court controlling power over all courts and
tribunals subordinate to it. Article 109 of the constitution states that- 'The High Court
Division shall have superintendence and control over all courts and tribunals subordinate
to it'.
Sources of Introducing Suo Moto Rule
Suo moto rule has some sources under which a judge may introduce it for protecting rights of
people. The following are the grounds of suo moto rule (Khan, 2003). :
By the Judge
News from electronic and print media
If the Judge comes to know about any incident from the newspaper, television or any types of
pring or lectronic media which violates the rights of any individual or the general public, he may
initiate the judicial proceedings by himself against the violating authority.
Jurisdiction of Suo Moto
rule
The Judge The Supreme Court
4
Hearing from aggrieved person
If any aggrieved person tell him directly about violation of rights, through the institution the
judge may initiate the jurisdiction.
Observation of judge
In the daily lives, if the judge observes injustice and inequity he may introcues suo moto rule.
By the Court
Court can take suo moto anytime, nothing specified, but so far it has been practiced in following
manner :-
No complain, no case
If any bench or panel of Supreme Court feels that justice was not done and event can repeat on a
case which was never even lodged in police station, court can order any level of probe by any
institute, police, CBI, etc.
Reopening old case
If case was closed, decision was given but out of no where some new concrete evidences have
been brought in light by anyone to court or even published in newspaper, any bench of Supreme
Court can take Suo moto and update their decision.
Contempt of court
If anyone in any form tries to disrespect the court proceedings, or, in any form try to overrule,
interfere with court proceedings, bench can take suo motu against him or institute.
Examples of Suo Motu Rule in Bangladesh
In 1992, the use of Suo Moto rule was first started in Bangladesh although the neighboring
countries India and Pakistan were using it from a long time ago. On the basis of the report
‘Release from all cases but in jail for 12 years’ in the newspaper Ittefaq, the High Court division
issued a suo moto rule to the District Commissioner of Sathkhira and ordered to exempt the child
Nazrul Islam from jail. The court also ordered to take necessary legal steps under investigations
for the alleged persons who were responsible for harrasment of the child Nazrul and recommends
the government to take measure for his job as compensation. Every year a number of Suo Motu
5
rules are initiated by the court in a number of cases where fundamental rights of people are being
violated. Suo Motu rule taken in different cases in 2016 are given below (Banglapedia, 2015) :
Application of Suo Motu rule by Supreme Court for protecting rights of vulnerable people
in society
Vulnerable people are those, who are susceptible to hurt, are in a position where they are open to
attack and harm. In this case the poor and disadvantages section of the people in the society are
vulnerable who are being deprived to fight for their rights because of their weak position in the
society. The judiciary can extend it’s help for the sake of the poor people by the following (The
Janakantha, 2012):
Protect people from litigation harassment
Bangladesh is a country where the poor segments of people are the victim of injustice.
Sometimes their names are included in many cases in which they have no involvement. Often
they could not continue the judicial proceedings because of money and the opposition parties
took the advantage of their position and harass them. Harassment is also made by including a
person’s name in fake cases. By initiating Suo Moto rule the Supreme Court plays the role of
guardian and protects people from unnecessary harassment.
Rapid resolve of case
As the judicial proceedings demands huge sum of money to resolve the case where every party
hires lawyer and also enough time as there are huge caseloads in the court Suo Moto rule is a
strategy by which the Supreme court can take decision quickly because of the involvement of
judge or the court itself.
Creating responsible public institutions
When the public institutions cannot perform their rule properly and disobey rules, people’s
fundamental rights are being violated. If the civil servants perform their duties by being liable to
the citizens the court does not require initiating Suo Moto rule for the sake of public. As a result
public institutions are being conscious to act in accordance with law so that their performance
might not become questionable. So, Suo Moto rule helps in increasing confidence towards the
6
people that any form of mismanagement and illegal activities of civil servants and public
institutions are under watchdog by the court.
Restrain influential people form illegal activities
In large power distance society like Bangladesh power and authority are considered to be held
and used by the people from upper strata in the society. Many influential people get themselves
free by wrong doings and by exploiting people’s basic rights. As a result of Suo Moto action
influential elite classes’ people are restricting themselves from doing illegal means because their
actions can be monitored by the High Court division and can order rule to show cause.
Ensuring constitutional rights of people
As the constitution of the people’s republic of Bangladesh ensures the rights of every citizen in
the country that they are equal before law, they have right to get justice, right to defend
themselves, right to fight for the truth. When such rights are being infringed, the High Court
becomes the savior to protect themselves from inequity and unfairness.
Providing justice to disadvantaged people
By the help of the intervention of Supreme Court people are getting justice without applying to
the authority, without being present in the court. As a result, those who were feared to apply for
litigation against powerful people in the society are getting justice. Powerful elites cannot
exercise force to the decision of the Supreme Court.
Limitations of Suo Moto Rule
Although Suo Motu rule has significant contributions in the judicial system but it has some
limitations from theoretical perspective which are given below (khan, 2003):
1. In Suo Motu rule, the judge initiates the case by himself as a conscious citizen of the
state. But according to the science of law, a judge cannot be the judge of his own case. In
this regard own initiated jurisdiction of the judge can be seen inconsistent with the
principles of the law.
2. As the judge depends on a specific report from which he have come to know about the
incident but the judge does not have in a position to justify the report. So there might be a
7
risk that his effort can be directed on the basis of artificial or man made report. As a
result time and money of the court can be wasted.
Conclusion
Suo Moto is a form of discretion used by the judges when they do not act according to
application of an aggrieved party other than his own .Under normal proceedings before a court,
a judge's role is to direct the proceedings and act on motions filed. When a party to a court case
wants the judge to rule on an issue or make a decision regarding something pertinent to the case,
he files a motion with the court. The opposing party then has an opportunity to respond to the
motion before the judge rules on it. In some cases, a judge acts suo moto, meaning without one
of the parties' asking her to do so. Suo Moto rule thus an exclusive jurisdiction of the court
through which human rights can be ensured and justice can be at the reach of all sections of
people in the country.
8
References
Khan, A. R. M. A. H. (2003). Jonosartho Proshne Adaloter Swapronodito Ekthiar, Jonosarthe
Mamla, Ain o Salish Kendro.
Banglapedia (2015). Bichar Vibagio Uddayag, Retrieved from
http://bn.banglapedia.org/favicon.ico
Datta, B. (2012). Jonosarthe Mamla ar Suo moto Kromei Jonopriyota Pacche, The Daily
Jonokantha. Retrieved from http://oldsite.dailyjanakantha.com/rss.php
Hashmi, K. (2012). The Power of Suo Moto, The Express Tribune. Retrieved from
http://tribune.com.pk/favicon.ico
Islam T. (2014). Jonogoner Sartho Rokkhay Jonosartho Mamla, The Jayjaydin.
Iqbal Z. (2016). Bangladesher Sangbidhanik Itihase Jonosarthe Mamlar Gurutto. Law News 24.
Com. Retrieved from http://www.lawnews24.com/706
https://meta.wikimedia.org/
http://m.wisegeek.org/what-does-suo-moto-mean.htm

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Suo Motu Rule

  • 1. 1 Introduction Bangladesh as an independent nation has come into being after the bloodshed of the liberation war in 1971. The country became able to adopt the constitution institutionally in 1972 .The newly independent country started their journey with the constitution where all the fundamental and basic rights of citizens are guaranteed. The constitution also provided judicial institutions such as The Supreme Court where people can apply for justice, legal assistance and services. Judicial proceedings and jurisdiction have undergone changes for years for providing justice to the citizens so that their rights may be ensured constitutionally by the institutions (Iqbal, 2016). To avoid unnececessary time consuming judicial proceedings, application of court’s own initiated jurisdiction brought a new chapter for ensuring rights of disadvantages & deprived section of people in the society. The rule which is introduced by such jurisdiction is called ‘Suo Moto’ rule. Suo Moto rule brings about a new hope to the people who are crying for justice so long. The Supreme Court now becoming the savior and protector of the people as the Suo Moto rule is becoming prevalent for years. Meaning of Suo Moto Rule Many legal systems throughout the world retain the use of Latin words or phrases that originated centuries ago in the legal system of ancient Rome. The term "Suo Moto" is one of those terms which means ‘of one’s own motion’. The expression implies a consideration, discretion and option. The court initiates proceedings ‘Suo Moto’, i.e., on its own without any party approaching for it. Mostly, the court intervenes so as to check the abuse of power by the executive, often in cases of violation of human rights and public interest (The Express Tribune, 2012) Suo Moto Of Ones’s own motion
  • 2. 2 Suo motu rule can be made for ‘Jonoswarthe Mamla’ in order to defend people from harassment of case and to have rapid adjudication of case result. Jonoswartho means general interest or general rights of common public in which a distinct community’s or nations interest is considered to be related. Jonoswarhthe mamla means a legal initiative lead by the court to uphold the rights or interest of general public. In such type of case the judge or the court introduces the case by itself other than the application of the aggrieved person (Islam, 2014). Importance of Suo Moto rule  Suo Moto rule makes the judiciary effective by applying constitutional power of discretion by the Judges when basic rights of people are ravished in a country.  Judicial proceedings are accomplished in a short period of time and people’s sufferings are reduced rapidly.  Turn back general people’s confidence towards the judicial system of the court.  Establish rule of law by giving the unprivileged section of people justice.  Attract the government to take necessary steps against the public institutions and its actors when they disobey laws and deprive common people from providing services which they deserve.  Discourage powerful people to involve in illegal works as their attitudes and functions are being monitored.  Different service providing agencies in the country become alert when they try to misuse their power and position.  Electronic and print media’s published reports on any unusual case make the judge to act as a concerned citizen in the state affairs. Constitutional provision for Suo Moto Rule in Bangladesh The constitution of Bangladesh provides the legal basis under which the court or the judges of the court can exercise their position in initiating Suo Moto rule for giving the deprived people of the society their rights through judicial actions. The following are the legal provisions:
  • 3. 3 1. According to Article 27 of the constitution, 'All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law'. 2. It is stated in Article 31 that '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'. 3. Moreover, constitution has provided high court controlling power over all courts and tribunals subordinate to it. Article 109 of the constitution states that- 'The High Court Division shall have superintendence and control over all courts and tribunals subordinate to it'. Sources of Introducing Suo Moto Rule Suo moto rule has some sources under which a judge may introduce it for protecting rights of people. The following are the grounds of suo moto rule (Khan, 2003). : By the Judge News from electronic and print media If the Judge comes to know about any incident from the newspaper, television or any types of pring or lectronic media which violates the rights of any individual or the general public, he may initiate the judicial proceedings by himself against the violating authority. Jurisdiction of Suo Moto rule The Judge The Supreme Court
  • 4. 4 Hearing from aggrieved person If any aggrieved person tell him directly about violation of rights, through the institution the judge may initiate the jurisdiction. Observation of judge In the daily lives, if the judge observes injustice and inequity he may introcues suo moto rule. By the Court Court can take suo moto anytime, nothing specified, but so far it has been practiced in following manner :- No complain, no case If any bench or panel of Supreme Court feels that justice was not done and event can repeat on a case which was never even lodged in police station, court can order any level of probe by any institute, police, CBI, etc. Reopening old case If case was closed, decision was given but out of no where some new concrete evidences have been brought in light by anyone to court or even published in newspaper, any bench of Supreme Court can take Suo moto and update their decision. Contempt of court If anyone in any form tries to disrespect the court proceedings, or, in any form try to overrule, interfere with court proceedings, bench can take suo motu against him or institute. Examples of Suo Motu Rule in Bangladesh In 1992, the use of Suo Moto rule was first started in Bangladesh although the neighboring countries India and Pakistan were using it from a long time ago. On the basis of the report ‘Release from all cases but in jail for 12 years’ in the newspaper Ittefaq, the High Court division issued a suo moto rule to the District Commissioner of Sathkhira and ordered to exempt the child Nazrul Islam from jail. The court also ordered to take necessary legal steps under investigations for the alleged persons who were responsible for harrasment of the child Nazrul and recommends the government to take measure for his job as compensation. Every year a number of Suo Motu
  • 5. 5 rules are initiated by the court in a number of cases where fundamental rights of people are being violated. Suo Motu rule taken in different cases in 2016 are given below (Banglapedia, 2015) : Application of Suo Motu rule by Supreme Court for protecting rights of vulnerable people in society Vulnerable people are those, who are susceptible to hurt, are in a position where they are open to attack and harm. In this case the poor and disadvantages section of the people in the society are vulnerable who are being deprived to fight for their rights because of their weak position in the society. The judiciary can extend it’s help for the sake of the poor people by the following (The Janakantha, 2012): Protect people from litigation harassment Bangladesh is a country where the poor segments of people are the victim of injustice. Sometimes their names are included in many cases in which they have no involvement. Often they could not continue the judicial proceedings because of money and the opposition parties took the advantage of their position and harass them. Harassment is also made by including a person’s name in fake cases. By initiating Suo Moto rule the Supreme Court plays the role of guardian and protects people from unnecessary harassment. Rapid resolve of case As the judicial proceedings demands huge sum of money to resolve the case where every party hires lawyer and also enough time as there are huge caseloads in the court Suo Moto rule is a strategy by which the Supreme court can take decision quickly because of the involvement of judge or the court itself. Creating responsible public institutions When the public institutions cannot perform their rule properly and disobey rules, people’s fundamental rights are being violated. If the civil servants perform their duties by being liable to the citizens the court does not require initiating Suo Moto rule for the sake of public. As a result public institutions are being conscious to act in accordance with law so that their performance might not become questionable. So, Suo Moto rule helps in increasing confidence towards the
  • 6. 6 people that any form of mismanagement and illegal activities of civil servants and public institutions are under watchdog by the court. Restrain influential people form illegal activities In large power distance society like Bangladesh power and authority are considered to be held and used by the people from upper strata in the society. Many influential people get themselves free by wrong doings and by exploiting people’s basic rights. As a result of Suo Moto action influential elite classes’ people are restricting themselves from doing illegal means because their actions can be monitored by the High Court division and can order rule to show cause. Ensuring constitutional rights of people As the constitution of the people’s republic of Bangladesh ensures the rights of every citizen in the country that they are equal before law, they have right to get justice, right to defend themselves, right to fight for the truth. When such rights are being infringed, the High Court becomes the savior to protect themselves from inequity and unfairness. Providing justice to disadvantaged people By the help of the intervention of Supreme Court people are getting justice without applying to the authority, without being present in the court. As a result, those who were feared to apply for litigation against powerful people in the society are getting justice. Powerful elites cannot exercise force to the decision of the Supreme Court. Limitations of Suo Moto Rule Although Suo Motu rule has significant contributions in the judicial system but it has some limitations from theoretical perspective which are given below (khan, 2003): 1. In Suo Motu rule, the judge initiates the case by himself as a conscious citizen of the state. But according to the science of law, a judge cannot be the judge of his own case. In this regard own initiated jurisdiction of the judge can be seen inconsistent with the principles of the law. 2. As the judge depends on a specific report from which he have come to know about the incident but the judge does not have in a position to justify the report. So there might be a
  • 7. 7 risk that his effort can be directed on the basis of artificial or man made report. As a result time and money of the court can be wasted. Conclusion Suo Moto is a form of discretion used by the judges when they do not act according to application of an aggrieved party other than his own .Under normal proceedings before a court, a judge's role is to direct the proceedings and act on motions filed. When a party to a court case wants the judge to rule on an issue or make a decision regarding something pertinent to the case, he files a motion with the court. The opposing party then has an opportunity to respond to the motion before the judge rules on it. In some cases, a judge acts suo moto, meaning without one of the parties' asking her to do so. Suo Moto rule thus an exclusive jurisdiction of the court through which human rights can be ensured and justice can be at the reach of all sections of people in the country.
  • 8. 8 References Khan, A. R. M. A. H. (2003). Jonosartho Proshne Adaloter Swapronodito Ekthiar, Jonosarthe Mamla, Ain o Salish Kendro. Banglapedia (2015). Bichar Vibagio Uddayag, Retrieved from http://bn.banglapedia.org/favicon.ico Datta, B. (2012). Jonosarthe Mamla ar Suo moto Kromei Jonopriyota Pacche, The Daily Jonokantha. Retrieved from http://oldsite.dailyjanakantha.com/rss.php Hashmi, K. (2012). The Power of Suo Moto, The Express Tribune. Retrieved from http://tribune.com.pk/favicon.ico Islam T. (2014). Jonogoner Sartho Rokkhay Jonosartho Mamla, The Jayjaydin. Iqbal Z. (2016). Bangladesher Sangbidhanik Itihase Jonosarthe Mamlar Gurutto. Law News 24. Com. Retrieved from http://www.lawnews24.com/706 https://meta.wikimedia.org/ http://m.wisegeek.org/what-does-suo-moto-mean.htm