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
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
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.