Vol. 5 Num 149 Thu. October 21, 2004  
Front Page

Long-drawn legal process still ahead

It is uncertain as to how much time will it take to execute the judgment in the long awaited Jail Killing Case, as experts hint at a potentially long period to have the judgment confirmed by higher court.

Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge' s Court while passing the judgment yesterday said all the proceedings of the case in regard to the three death convicts shall be sent to the High Court in seven days.

The death penalty awardees can appeal to the High Court in seven days, said the court.

The code of criminal procedure says when the Court of Sessions passes death sentence, the proceedings shall be submitted to the High Court Division and the sentence shall not be executed unless it is confirmed by the High Court.

The other convicted can appeal against the judgment in 30 days.

A fugitive convict can appeal to the High Court only after his surrender to the court.

The High Court will hear the death reference and appeal (if filed) simultaneously.

It may need more than a year to prepare the paper book of the case comprising the judgment and all other documents pertaining to the case.

Then it will be forwarded for hearing. But it still may need more time to be enlisted, as there is already a backlog of death references in the death reference bench of the High Court.

The bench is now hearing cases that had already waited for several years to be heard.

Earlier in 1998,a Dhaka court passed the judgment in Bangabandhu Murder Case and the hearing on the death reference was completed in April 2001. In that case, a special bench was comprised to hear the death reference. But the leave to appeal against the confirmation of the judgment is pending because of shortage of judges.

The four national leaders were assassinated inside Dhaka Central Jail on November 3, 1975. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) was tasked with the investigation on November 21, 1975.

But the investigation had been stalled for years and was reopened on August 18, 1996. On October 15, 1998,charges were pressed against 21 people.