Chief Justice of (Bangladesh)



Muhammad Habibur Rahman
(Chief Justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court)
(1928- 2014)


Muhammad Habibur Rahman held the position of Chief Justice of the Bangladesh Supreme Court in 1995. He served as the Chief Adviser of the 1996 caretaker government, which supervised the Seventh parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. He was a respected faculty member in the Department of Law at both the University of Rajshahi and the University of Dhaka.

In addition to being a language activist and advocate for the Bengali language, he authored numerous publications. He was instrumental in establishing the use of Bengali in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh and wrote the first Bengali thesaurus, Jathashabdo, in 1974.

Rahman received the Bangla Academy Literary Award in 1984 and the Ekushey Padak in 2007 from the Government of Bangladesh for his outstanding contributions to literature. He was also recognized as a Fellow of the Bangla Academy, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, and Worcester College, Oxford.

Known For: Chief Justice of Bangladesh Supreme Court

Born: 3 December 1928

Age: 85

Birthplace: Murshidabad, Bengal Presidency, British India

Nationality: Bangladeshi

Father: Moulvi Jahiruddin Biswas

Mother: Gul Habiba


BA (Hons) in History, Dhaka University

MA in History, Dhaka University

LLB degree, Dhaka University

BA (Hons) in Modern History, Worcester College of Oxford University

MA degree in Modern History, Worcester College of Oxford University

Bar at Law from the Lincon’s Inn


Judge of the High Court

Acting Chief Justice

Chief Justice of Bangladesh

Caretaker government of Bangladesh

Spouse: Islama Rahman


Rubaba Rahman

Nusrat Habib

Rawnak Shireen

Death: 11 January 2014

Early Life

Muhammad Habibur Rahman was born on December 3, 1928. He was initially from the village of Dayarampur in the Jangipur subdivision of the Murshidabad district in West Bengal. His father, Moulvi Jahiruddin Biswas, worked as a lawyer, and his mother was named Gul Habiba.

Education and Career

Habibur Rahman cleared his matriculation examination in 1945 from Jangipur High School, and he passed the IA examination in 1947 from Presidency College in Kolkata. He pursued his higher studies from Dhaka University, where he obtained a BA (Hons) in History in 1950, an MA in 1951, and an LLB degree in 1955.

In addition, he obtained a BA (Hons) and an MA degree in Modern History in 1958 and 1962, respectively, from Worcester College of Oxford University. Habibur Rahman also completed Bar at Law from Lincon’s Inn in 1959.

Habibur Rahman began his career as a History Lecturer at Dhaka University in 1952. Later, he joined Rajshahi University, where he became the Dean of the Faculty of Law in 1961 and served as a Reader in History from 1962 to 1964.

In 1964, Habibur Rahman transitioned to a legal career and joined the Dhaka High Court bar. During his legal career, he held various positions such as Assistant Advocate General in 1969, vice president of the High Court Bar Association in 1972, and member of the Bangladesh Bar Council in 1972.

In 1976, Habibur Rahman was appointed a judge of the High Court and later became a judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in 1985. He was appointed as Acting Chief Justice from 1990-1991 and served as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh in 1995. Throughout his career, he demonstrated his juristic competence in his opinions and interpretations, particularly in significant issues such as admiralty jurisdiction, citizenship, habeas corpus, amendment of the Constitution, administrative tribunals, and court jurisdictions.

Justice Habibur Rahman participated in various international conferences of lawyers and jurists, including the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia-Pacific in Perth, Australia (1991), and the Fourth Commonwealth Chief Justices Conference in Abuja, Nigeria (1992). He also attended the First SAARC Chief Justices Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal (1995), and conferences and seminars on law and human rights held in different states including – Sao Paolo (Brazil), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Burlington (USA) etc.

After retiring as Chief Justice of Bangladesh in 1995, Habibur Rahman was appointed as Chief Advisor of the caretaker government for conducting the elections of the Jatiya Sangsad in 1996, as per the constitutional provision. As Chief Advisor, he successfully guided the nation through the confusion and threats to democracy. Despite the dangers, Justice Rahman remained firm in his resolve to preserve democracy, and it was saved through the general election held in June 1996.


Habibur Rahman was a reflective writer with a keen interest in diverse subjects. He embodied the spirit of the Renaissance, constantly seeking knowledge through various dimensions. His research spanned a broad range of topics, including literature, politics, religion, and society, revealing the vastness of his intellectual capacity.

As a prominent intellectual figure, Habibur Rahman examined the works of Rabindranath Tagore from multiple perspectives. He was also a poet and aesthete. He was deeply committed to religion without being biased toward any particular faith. Some of his notable literary and scholarly works are listed below.

  • Law of Requisition (1966)
  • Jatha Shabda (1974)
  • Rabindra Prabandhey Sanjna O Parthakya Bichar (1983)
  • Matri-bhashar Svapakshey Rabindranath (1983)
  • Qoran-Sutra (1984)
  • Gangariddhi Thekey Bangladesh (1985)
  • Bachan O Prabachan (1985)
  • Rabindra-Rachanar Rabindra-byakhya (1986)
  • Rabindra-Bakyey Art Sangeet O Sahitya (1986)
  • Amara ki Jabo-na Tader Kachhey Jara Shudhu Banglai Katha Baley (1996)
  • Bangladesh Dirghajeebi Hoke (1996)
  • Tera-i Bhadra Sheeter Janma (1996)
  • Kalam Ekhon Nagaler Bairey (1996)
  • Ayner Shasan O Bichar Bibhager Svadhinata (1997)
  • Bangladesh Sangbidhaner Shabda O Khanda-bakya (1997)
  • Bangladesher Tarikh (1998)
  • Maner Agachha Puriye (1998)
  • Bang Banga Bangala Bangladesh (1999)
  • Sarkar Sangbidhan O Adhikar (1999)
  • Kavi Tumi Naha Gurudev (1999)
  • Ekushey February Sakal Bhashar Katha Koi (1999)
  • Mausumi Bhabna (1999)
  • Mitrakshar (2000)
  • Jago Otho Darao Bangladesh (2000)
  • Nirbachita Prabandha (2000)
  • Qoran Sharifer Saral Banganubad (2000)
  • Chaoa-Paoa O Na-Paoar Hiseb (2001)
  • Swapna Duhsapna O Bobar Swapna (2002)
  • Rabindra-Rachanae Ayni Bhabna (2002)
  • Bishanna Bisoy O Bangladesh (2003)
  • Prathamey Matribhasha Parabhasha Parey (2004)
  • Rabindranath O Sabhyatar Sankat (2004)
  • Safdeler Mahara (2004)
  • Unnata Mama Shir (2005)
  • Ek Bharatiya Bangalir Atma-Samalochana (2005)
  • Daimukti (2005)
  • Kato Bhagye Bangladesh, Kothai Dariye Bangladesh (2006)
  • Shiksharthi O Shiksha-datader Jai Hoke (2007)
  • Jatidharma-barna-Nari-Purush Nirbisheshey (2007)
  • Banglar Surya Az Ar Asta Jai Na (2007)
  • Manusher Janya Khancha Banio Na (2007)
  • Swadhinatar Daibhar (2007)
  • Rajar Chithir Pratikshai (2007)
  • Ayn-Shabdakosh (2007)
  • Udayer Pathey Amader Bhabna (2008)
  • Zar Za Dharma (2008)
  • Bangladesher Tarikh, II (2008)
  • Desher Bhalo-Manda (2008)
  • Bazar O Adrishya Hasta (2008)
  • Ek-mutho Samudrer Garjan (2008)
  • Srijansheel Ganatantra (2008)
  • Line-chyuta Rail-garhi (2008)
  • Gangariddhi (2008)
  • Subhashita (2009)
  • Rajnaitik Kavita (2010)
  • Itihasa Bisayak (2010)
  • Rabindranather Swadesh-chinta (2010)
  • Tora Keman Karey Parli (2010)
  • Tao ti ching-er Anubad (2010)
  • Ayn-Adhikar O Birodh O Mimamsa (2010)
  • Nirbachita China Kavita (2010)
  • On Rights and Remedies
  • The Road Map to Peace but Nowhere to go.

Personal Life

Habibur Rahman, who was known for leading a modest life, lived with his wife Islama Rahman, and three daughters: Rubaba Rahman, Nusrat Habib, and Rawnak Shireen. He held a great affection for his family. He was a regular listener of the BBC and also enjoyed watching comedy programs and drama series.

Throughout his career as a teacher, lawyer, judge, and government administrator, Justice Habibur Rahman was known for his strict adherence to principles and liberal and tolerant outlook. He was a quiet person who had a great passion for reading. During his time as the chairman of the Bangladesh Institute of Law and International Affairs (BILIA), he generously donated more than a thousand books from his personal collection to the organization. Even after his passing, his family continued his legacy by donating an additional 400 books to BILIA.

Habibur Rahman passed away on January 11, 2014, at the age of 85, at United Hospital in Gulshan, Dhaka.


Habibur Rahman played a significant role in the Language Movement that took place on 21st February 1952 in East Pakistan. He became the first person to violate Section 144 by leading the first group of the procession but was subsequently arrested. The authorities responded to the protest with extreme force, including the widespread use of tear gas, beating with clubs, and ultimately shooting. This resulted in the deaths of several students, injuries to hundreds, and the arrest of thousands.

Justice Rahman received the Bangla Academy Prize for Literature in 1984, the Ekushey Padak in 2007, and various other awards from different organizations. He was honored as a Fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh and the Bangla Academy. Additionally, he was recognized as an Honorary Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn and an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College at Oxford University.

According to National Professor Anisuzzaman, he was a Renaissance man who had a successful approach to knowledge and an encyclopedic understanding.


Justice Habibur Rahman led a life of remarkable achievements, though not the kind that is typically hailed by the masses. He held influential positions in two of the three branches of the state, and his unwavering dedication to the betterment of the country remained steadfast throughout his career. Whether he was sharing his wisdom in a classroom or crafting books that would serve as a reference for future generations, he remained committed to his cause. His was a life of understated excellence akin to a lighthouse that stands amidst tumultuous waters, quietly guiding generations without seeking recognition.




All content on this website is provided in good faith and only for general information purposes. A Biography makes no guarantees regarding the information’s completeness, reliability, or correctness. Any action you take as a result of the material on this website is entirely at your own risk. A Biography is not responsible for any losses or damages incurred as a result of using our website.

এই ওয়েবসাইটের সমস্ত বিষয়বস্তু সরল বিশ্বাসে এবং শুধুমাত্র সাধারণ তথ্যের উদ্দেশ্যে প্রদান করা হয়েছে। একটি জীবনী তথ্যের সম্পূর্ণতা, নির্ভরযোগ্যতা বা সঠিকতা সম্পর্কে কোন গ্যারান্টি দেয় না। এই ওয়েবসাইটের উপাদানের ফলস্বরূপ আপনি যে কোনও পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করেন তা সম্পূর্ণরূপে আপনার নিজের ঝুঁকিতে। একটি জীবনী আমাদের ওয়েবসাইট ব্যবহার করার ফলে কোনো ক্ষতি বা ক্ষতির জন্য দায়ী নয়।