Constitution adopted by the Parliament

On 10th April 1972 the first National Assembly sat in session to adopt the new constitution. Ironically, this assembly comprised of the MPs who were elected in 1970 election under the constitution of Pakistan and the LFO of President Gen. Yahya Khan.

Maulana Bhasani challenged the authority of Awami League to make the constitution and said, "The present Parliament consists of members elected under the LFO and the election 1970. The elected Parliament under President Yahya Khan’s LFO was supposed to be responsible to make the constitution of Pakistan. Awami League as a political party got the vote on the basis of their six points programme. The demand of the six points programme was to establish provincial autonomies maintaining the unity of Pakistan. Therefore, they don’t have any legitimate right to make the constitution of the independent Bangladesh". He demanded to form an all-party national convention to make the constitution. He further said, "The national convention should not comprise of the political parties only, the representatives from all those groups who had participated in the liberation war should be included as well. Such constitution drawn by the national convention shall have to be ratified through a referendum".

Awami League government did not pay any attention to his protest and on 12th October 1972 the draft constitutions presented by Dr. Kamal Hussain, the then law & Parliamentary Minister was adopted by the Parliament. The first constitution of independent Bangladesh was framed on the four principles of Mujibbad, which were also the fundamentals of Indian constitutions. To justify the conflicting principles the government incorporated numerous contradictory articles in the constitutions. The government pronounced socialism would be established but in the constitutions the article 42 protected the private ownership. Through articles 35, 37 & 39 Awami League government cleverly took away fundamental rights of the people. The government to suppress the opposition ruthlessly used articles 63(3). In the name of ‘Public Security’ like Ayub regime Awami League government also took away citizenship of many Bangladeshis. Provisions to ban strikes and to keep people under custody without trial were kept in tact.