Dhaka: Bangladesh`s High Court has asked the
government to submit a report on the current status of a controversial military tribunal, which had handed down death penalty to the 1971 Liberation War veteran Colonel Abu Taher
after a brief trial on treason charges.
A two-member High Court bench comprising judges AHM
Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain also ordered
the government to provide the details of the army officers who
were involved in policy-making between November 1975 and
August 1976, when the country witnessed a series of coups and
Taher, a Liberation War time sector commander who
subsequently appeared as a left-leaning leader on retirement
from army, was the first Bangladeshi to walk to gallows in
independent Bangladesh as he was hanged immediately after the
controversial trial on treason charges.
Several of the accused were handed down the identical
death penalty but none, other than Taher, however, was hanged
eventually. At that time, army general-turned politician Ziaur
Rahman was in power as the chief martial law administrator.
The bench also asked the police to submit a copy of
the first information report of the case filed with a police
station in June, 1976 against Taher on sedition charge.
The order came as the hearing was underway on a writ
petition filed by Taher`s family, challenging the military law
regulation under which the military tribunal had been formed.
Taher`s sentence had sparked a controversy, with the then
chief prosecutor ATM Afzal, who later became the country`s
Chief Justice, saying that he himself was surprised by the
tribunal verdict as there was no provision of death penalty in
military act at that time for the charge that Taher faced.
The tribunal chief brigadier Yusuf Haider is already