(Ex-President of Bangladesh)
A BIOGRAPHY OF SHAHABUDDIN AHMED
Shahabuddin Ahmed (1 February 1930 – 19 March 2022) was a prominent politician and jurist who served as the President of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2001 and as the Chief Justice of Bangladesh from 1990 to 1995. He played a significant role in the country’s political landscape. His contribution to the judiciary system is immense. Throughout his life, he was widely respected for his integrity, leadership, and commitment to public service.
Known For: President of Bangladesh
Born: 1 February 1930
Birthplace: Netrokona, Mymensingh, Bangladesh
Father: Talukdar Resat Ahmed Bhuiyan
BSc in Economics, University of Dhaka
Master’s Degree in international relations, Dhaka University
Special course in Public Administration, University of Oxford
Judge of Supreme Court
Chief Justice of Bangladesh
Caretaker of government
Spouse: Anowara Begum
Death: 19 March 2022
Shahabuddin Ahmed was born on 1 February 1930 in Pamal village in Kendua, Netrokona. His father Talukdar Resat Ahmed Bhuiyan was a philanthropist.
Education and Career
After completing his matriculation and intermediate examinations, Ahmed enrolled at the University of Dhaka in 1948. A brilliant scholar, he graduated with distinction, earning his BA (Hons) in Economics in 1951 and MA in International Relations in 1952 from the prestigious Dhaka University. He also pursued advanced studies at the University of Oxford, completing a specialized course on Public Administration. His academic prowess paved the way for his entry into the esteemed Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1954.
After joining the Civil Service of Pakistan, Ahmed underwent training at the Lahore Civil Service Academy and the University of Oxford. He began his career as a sub-divisional officer in Gopalganj and Natore, later serving as a deputy commissioner in Faridpur. In 1960, he transferred to the judicial branch. He worked as an additional district and session judge in Dhaka and Barisal, as well as a district and sessions judge in Comilla and Chittagong. In 1967, Ahmed assumed the role of registrar at the High Court of then-East Pakistan in Dhaka. He was appointed to the bench of the High Court on 20 January 1972 and deputized at the Labour Appellate Tribunal from 1973 to 1974.
Ahmed’s career continued to progress, and on 7 February 1980, he was appointed as a judge of the appellate division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, a position he was confirmed on 15 April 1981. Ahmed’s career continued to progress, and on 7 February 1980, he was appointed as a judge of the appellate division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh which was confirmed on 15 April 1981.
Under the Commission of Inquiry Act, Ahmed served as the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry that investigated police firing on students in mid-February 1983. Additionally, he chaired the National Pay Commission in 1984, which resulted in an upward revision of the pay scale based on the report he submitted.
On 14 January 1990, Ahmed assumed the role of Chief Justice of Bangladesh. Shortly after that, a public movement led by opposition political parties aimed at reforming the authoritarian system of government gained momentum, leading to the resignation of the government led by then-President Hussain Muhammad Ershad on 6 December 1990. The then-vice president Moudud Ahmed also resigned on the same day, paving the way for Ahmed’s appointment as the new vice president. When Ershad resigned later that day, Ahmed became the acting President of the country.
Ahmed was unanimously selected by all political parties, including Ershad, to lead the interim government that would oversee a neutral election to parliament. He administered the oath of office to his council of advisors at Bangabhaban on 9 December 1990 and held the first meeting on 15 December 1990.
After overseeing the Fifth National Parliamentary Elections on 27 February 1991, Ahmed handed over the ruling power to the newly elected Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. He resigned from the presidency on 9 October 1991 and returned to his previous post of Chief Justice the next day. He eventually retired from this position on 1 February 1995.
On 23 July 1996, Ahmed was nominated by the Awami League government and elected unopposed as President. He took office on 9 October 1996 and served until his retirement on 14 November 2001. Following the Awami League’s loss in the parliamentary elections in 2001, Ahmed was criticized by Sheikh Hasina and labeled a “betrayer”. In response, Ahmed expressed his frustration, saying, “If things are done according to their desires, I am an angel, otherwise I am a devil.”
While serving as a Judge of the Supreme Court, Ahmed also assumed the role of Chairman of the Bangladesh Red Cross Society from August 1978 to April 1982. During this time, he established multiple healthcare facilities in rural areas, with a particular focus on maternity centers, such as the Teligati Red Cross Hospital in Netrakona, which received funding from the Swiss Red Cross. In 1979, Ahmed was part of the Bangladesh Government delegation to the 10th Conference of Foreign Ministers of the Islamic Countries (OIC) in Fez, Morocco, where the proposal to create an International Islamic Red Crescent Society was discussed. He was instrumental in advocating for the inclusion of Family Planning and Population Control as a core function of the Bangladesh Red Cross.
Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed was a man of unwavering integrity, whose honesty was beyond reproach. He conducted himself with decency and politeness, and there was never a hint of dishonesty or corruption attached to his name, which earned him a spotless reputation.
Shahabuddin Ahmed married Anowara Begum. Together they have three daughters and two sons. Their daughters are- Sitara Parveen(Assistant Professor, DU), Samina Parveen (an Architect), son, Shibli Ahmed (Environmental Engineer), son Sohel Ahmed and younger daughter Samia Parveen.
Anowara Begum was born in 1937 and died in the year 2018. She was 80 years at the time.
In a heartbreaking tragedy, Sitara Parveen lost her life in a fatal road accident in the United States in 2005. Parveen was an assistant professor at the esteemed Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at Dhaka University.
Due to an age-related illness, Ahmed was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in February 2022. Sadly, he passed away on 19 March 2022 at the age of 92 while still in the care of the Combined Military Hospital.
“My father was a jurist in his personal life too. He treated everyone equally. ” says son Sohel Ahmed while briefing his father’s death.
As a testament to Ahmed’s contributions, a beautiful lake in Gulshan, Dhaka was renamed in 2008 to Rastrapati Bicharpati Shahabuddin Ahmed Park, honoring his legacy.
Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed was a prominent figure in Bangladesh’s legal and political history, who had a significant impact on the country’s democracy. He was a man of great intellect, integrity, and unwavering commitment to the rule of law, whose dedication and tireless efforts helped to establish Bangladesh as a democratic nation. He made significant contributions to the development of Bangladesh, particularly in the area of public administration and the judiciary. His legacy will continue to inspire generations to come, and he will always be remembered as a true patriot and a champion of justice.
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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।