Justice Siddikur Rahman Miah is a former Justice from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, and the current President of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE). Coming from a noble Muslim family of Boyalmari Thana in Faridpur District, he was born on June 22, 1946. Justice Siddiqur Rahman participated in the war of liberation in 1971, and started his career as an Assistant Judge from the first day of year 1976. Later, he was eleveted to the High Court Division and subsequently to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. In addition to the four-decades long journey in the Judicial arena, he has authored around 150 books on Law which are extensively followed by academicians, practitioners, researchers, legal professionals and students.
Assalamu Walaikum sir, and good evening.
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: Walaikumus Salam, good evening.
Sir, kindly let us know about your educational life; how did your journey begin ?
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: Thanks. I completed my primary education from Banamalipur Primary School located in my locality. I obtained my SSC degree from Kasheni GC School, and HSC degree from Sohrawardi College. After that I got BA (Honors.) in Political Science from University of Dhaka and did double MA in Public administration. I got my Law degree from University of Dhaka as well. Then, I completed a Diploma in “Legislative Drafting” from Kenya School of Law as a Commonwealth Scholar. During this course, I was lucky to have Justice Craft from Ghana as my teacher. Justice Craft had drafted 17 commonwealth country’s constitution. The perseverance of Justice Craft to creativity inspired me immensely in involving with my legal writing. He taught me in hand how to pen a legal draft artistically and aesthetically.
Sir, kindly let us know about your involvement in legal arena.
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: Though my discipline was public administration, I was fond of law discipline. So, I switched to law even after having double MA, and got the degree. After successfully completing the Civil Service (CSP) Examination, I was selected as a Magistrate. Unfortunately, the result was revoked after independence and we had to sit for a new examination, where I passed as a Section Officer. But the deplorable circumstances hindered our appointment. By that time, I appeared at BCS Judicial Examination and qualified as an Assistant Judge in 1975. Thus I imparted in judicial arena despite having administration post.
Sir, you had a long journey in judiciary. Tell us some experiences from that glorious expedition.
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: From the inception of my career, I was profoundly concerned about the establishment of rule of justice. Government from time to time, promoted me to various important posts as a result of my skill, integrity, passion and love for work. Initially, my first work place was in Barisal as assistant judge. Gradually, I served in Laxmipur and Kishorganj. After that I was appointed by the then Government as section officer in the ministry of Law. I was promoted to senior section officer. Later, I joined as Joint district judge in Dhaka and after couple of years, transferred to Rajshahi. Then got promoted to Additional District Judge and served in Comilla. In course of time, I was vested with duty of Chief Registrar and the department was in an appalling look. At my time, 150 sub-registry office was converted to building. The present registration complex at Tejgaon, Dhaka is result of my initiative. There was no Bengali manual facility at the department. I first translated the manual and then wrote few books on registration issue. While I was District Judge at Chittagong, I ought to discuss with other judges every month and decision of rapid disposal of suits and cases would come out. Then I was appointed at Dhaka as District judge and continued for a long while. I was elevated to the High Court Division and delivered a number of major verdicts. As a result, the judiciary being gratified and satisfied, promoted me to Appellate Division. Now being retired from Supreme Court of Bangladesh, currently serving as chairman of Dhaka Stock exchange.
You have writing foot print in almost each and every branch of law. No other judicial person has owned this mammoth contribution as you have. How did and do you balance your judge life and then, this creating practice along with?
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: As a justice, I have given priority to my main track, writing was an additional part for me. I believed in quick disposal and never kept any judgment pending for a week. I wrote during vacation and holidays, and had many sleepless nights. Sometimes, just after finishing a verdict, I started to pay attention on my own book. A gist of hadith kindled the fire in my mind at student life- “Two classes of justices will go to hell fire, those who delivers wrong judgement being unknown and those who do the same being fully known. One class of justice will avail on heaven who attempt to know the right and thus conveyed the truth and justice. So, I think there is no alternative to continue learning law. Law is dynamic with a huge variety. At our time, lack of quality books of law was a major problem. Thus I aimed to solve this problem and concentrated on writing legal books.
Young lawyers have to know every subtle side of law. As knowledge is power, one has to read ten pages if he wants to write one page. One should be diligent and industrious.
– Justice Siddiq
Sir, you are a pioneer and role model to the young legal professionals and lawyers. Many of them are adopting the habit of writing by following you. What will be your advice to them?
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: My suggestion to them will be that, to deliver justice, law must be realized from heart, essence and message of law must be extracted. Extensive study is required. While they are in chair, they should carry out duty with equity and holiness. Young lawyers have to know every subtle side of law. As knowledge is power, one has to read ten pages if he wants to write one page. One should be diligent and industrious.
Sir, do you think that the separation of judiciary has reached its goal?
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah: I think it was a massive challenge. Though we criticize the existence of care taker government after one eleven. But, we should bear in mind that this separation has taken place in India & Pakistan quite ago. So, if the Care taker Government would not come ahead in separating judiciary, it might not be separated even today. I want to refer an interesting example. While serving in Chandpur, I found a magistrate giving punishment under section 34 of Penal Code in a judgment. I asked the magistrate whether he knew the section or not? The magistrate replied, sorry sir. It came from mistake. I beg pardon. To me, after the separation of judiciary, difference between public and private university has shrunk and studious and knowledgeable students are coming out after getting four year LL.B. and one year LL.M. degree. It is not possible to measure right now the positive changes of separation. But some good outcomes are definitely visible.
What is your dream about judiciary?
Justice Siddiqur Rahman Miah- The judiciary of Bangladesh has far advanced in comparison to past. Infrastructures have been developed drastically. Lower Courts are enjoying touch of digital decoration. Salary and remuneration has been increased recently. So, I believe the judiciary will anticipate gradual decent progress. Meritorious students are getting up to study law. So, the entire yard of judiciary will become an idol of justice and rule of law.
Sir, thank you so much for your valuable time and thoughts.
Justice Siddikur Rahman Miah- Welcome, Thank you too.
This Interview was taken by Mr. Tasmirul Islam Udoy, Special Contributor of FutureLaw.