Bangla HC recalls records of court martial in 1976
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 16:16
Dhaka: Bangladesh High Court has asked the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina-led government to submit records of a controversial court martial in 1976 in which a veteran of the Liberation War was hanged after a close door trial.

"The High Court has asked the government to submit the trial documents," a court official said as a two-judge bench of the superior court issued the order.

He said the bench also demanded an explanation in three weeks why the 1976 judgement sentencing Col Abu Taher to death and handing down imprisonments of different terms to 16 others should not be declared "void, illegal and ultra vires to the Constitution".

Col Taher, 1971 Liberation War sector commander, was hanged while 16 others, some belonging to left leaning Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), currently an ally of Prime Minister Hasina's ruling Awami League, were jailed for different terms, on a "sedition case".

Taher, a recipient of high gallantry award Bir Uttam for his remarkable role during the 1971 war, was the first man to be hanged in jail in independent Bangladesh after the in-camera trial during the regime of slain President General Ziaur Rahman.

The High Court bench comprising judges AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain issued the rule after Taher's wife Lutfa Taher, his brother Anwar Hossain and another relative jointly filed a writ petition.

Hossain, currently a professor in Dhaka University, himself was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment for "hatching plots against the government".

They filed the petition a month after the apex Appellate Division of the Supreme Court suggested "suitable punishment" to perpetrators of martial laws declaring "illegal" the 5th amendment to the constitution that had endorsed the 'extra constitutional adventure' or military rules.


First Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 16:16

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