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Former Presidents
Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury

The Chief Justice of the HC of Bangladesh, Justice A.S.M. Sayem, swore in Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury as President of the Republic of Bangladesh on 12 January 1972. Justice Chowdhury's first official function was to administer the oath of office to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and eleven other members of his Cabinet. Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury was re-elected the President of Bangladesh on 10 April 1973 and continued to hold the office of President till 24 December 1973.


Son of Abdul Hamid Chowdhury, a former Speaker of EP Provincial Assembly, Abu Sayeed was born on 31 January 1921 in an illustrious family of Nagbari in Tangail. He graduated from Presidency College in 1940, and also obtained his M. A. and B. L. degrees from the Calcutta University. He was called to the Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1947. Barrister Chowdhury became Advocate General of EP in 1960; was a member of the Constitution Commission, 1960-61. He became Judge, Dhaka HC, 1961-72, Chairman of the Central Board for the Development of Bengali, 1963-68. He was also Vice - Chancellor of DU in addition to his own duties as Judge from November 1969 till 12 January 1972. In 1971, he was appointed Special Envoy of Bangladesh Government for Overseas and the UN and made significant contribution in mobilizing world public opinion in favour of the Liberation Struggle. On his resignation as President of the Republic in December 1973, Justice Chowdhury was appointed Special Envoy for external relations with the rank of a Minister. He was included as a member of Mujib's Cabinet on 8 August 1975. After Shiekh Mujib's assassination, Abu Sayeed Chowdhury became Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of President Mustaque Ahmad. In 1978, Justice Chowdhury was elected a member of the UN sub-committee on the Prevention of Discrimination on Minorities, and in 1985 became Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission.


Justice Chowdhury authored a valuable book entitled Probasey Muktijuddher Dingooli (1990). He married Begum Khurshida Chowdhury in 1948. They have three children, two sons and a daughter.

Justice Chowdhury died on 2 August 1987 in London.

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