Verdict on life term in Bangladesh on Dec 1

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:06, Nov 25,2020 | Updated: 00:07, Nov 25,2020


The Appellate Division on Tuesday set December 1 for delivering its judgement on a petition filed by a convict for reviewing its 2017 ruling that life imprisonment implies a jail term for the convict’s entire life in jail, not 30 years.

The seven-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain set the schedule after hearing afresh in the review petition filed by convict Ataur Rahman in February 2017.

Earlier on July 11, 2019 the Appellate Division concluded hearing of the review petition but said that judgement would be delivered any day.

The Appellate Division heard senior lawyers Rokanuddin Mahmud, AF Hassan Ariff and AM Amin Uddin, now attorney general, as amici curiae over the issue.

All but Rokanuddin submitted that an imprisonment for life meant convicts’ 30 years in jail, according to the penal code.

On Tuesday, Amin Udidn as the successor of the late attorney general Mahbubey Alam adopted the contention that imprisonment means convicts’ jail until his death.

Senior lawyers Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury, who appeared for the convict, argued that the definition of life term imprisonment cannot be changed until the penal code is amended.

They contended that according to the penal code imprisonment for life means convicts’ 30 years in jail.

A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha on February 14, 2017 ruled that the life imprisonment means jailing of the convicts until their natural death in jail amid debate over the tenure of life imprisonment.

The Appellate Division dismissed the appeals filed by three death row-convicts Ataur, Anwar and Kamrul challenging their death sentences upheld by the High Court in 2007.

On October 15, 2003, the trial court awarded death sentences to the three for killing Zaman in Ashulia on December 16, 2001.

Zaman was shot dead by a group of armed people.

A life imprisonment convict is required to serve maximum 30 years in jail, according to Section 57 of the Penal Code.

But Justice SK Sinha, who was the author of the verdict delivered by the Appellate Division on September 17, 2014, commuting war criminal Delwar Hossain Sayedee’s death sentence to life imprisonment until his death in jail.

Following the verdict, international crimes tribunal which is trying war criminals delivered a number of verdicts sentencing war criminals to life imprisonment until their death in jail.

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