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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2675

Bangladesh Cabinet approves anti Chemical Weapons Bill

Dhaka, 17 May, (INS + The Bangladesh cabinet approved in principle the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Bill proposing enactment of a new law on the prohibition of development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction, although Bangladesh does not produce, possess or use any such weapon.

The weekly meeting of the cabinet, presided over by the Prime Minister, Khaleda Zia, at her office Monday night, approved another bill seeking amendment to the State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950 to impose legal limitations on pre-emption in transfer of properties.

The government is going to enact the Chemical Weapons (Prohibition) Act to comply with the United Nation’s Convention on the Prohibition of Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction, adopted on January 13, 1993 in Paris, the law minister, Moudud Ahmed, who initiated the bill, told INS after the meeting.

‘To enact the law is an international binding on and an obligation of the government and we have to enact the law though we do not produce, store or use any chemical weapon,’ he said.

One hundred and seventy-four countries have so far signed the UN Convention. Bangladesh signed the convention on April 25, 1997 and the convention came into effect on April 27, 1997.

According to the Convention, every signatory country must enact such a law.
Of the 174 signatories of the convention, 108 countries, including India and Pakistan, have already enacted such laws and 148 countries have established national authorities for prohibition of development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction.

If enacted, the law will have effect even outside of the country in case of any offence under the law committed by any Bangladeshi national outside the country or by any person being onboard in any aircraft or ship of Bangladesh.

The bill proposes different punishments including imprisonment for one year to 14 years and fine of US$ 70 to US$ 700 for different offences under the proposed law.

It also proposes establishment of a National Authority on Convention on Chemical Weapon.

According to the bill, the 17-member authority will be headed by the principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division as its chairman and the members will include one joint secretary of each of the ministries of foreign affairs, law, home, defense, industry, commerce and science and information communications technology, a brigadier general of the army, a commodore of the navy, an air commodore of the air force, and one representative of each of Atomic Energy Commission, Bangladesh Council for Science and Industrial Research, Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation, National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industries, and the director of the executive cell.

According to the existing State Acquisition and Tenancy Act 1950, a person deserves priority in purchasing a land, which is a part of a land inherited or gift or adjacent to his/her land.

The amendment bill proposes that no such priority will be applicable on any land other than a part of the inherited land.

A person may claim for purchasing a land on priority upon paying 25 per cent above the price offered by other party interested to purchase the land, the bill proposes, while the existing law provides for paying 10 per cent extra price.

If enacted, the new law will require a person to file a law suit claiming pre-emption on a land within two months, instead of four months in the existing law, of his or her knowledge about the selling of the land.

No such suit, however, can be filed after three years of the execution of the legal instrument (deed) for the selling, the bill proposes, while the time limitation of filing the cases is 10 years in he existing law.

- INS + Asian Tribune -

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