The death sentences of Dafadar Marfat Ali Shah and Dafadar Abul Hashem Mridha in the 1975 Jail Killing Case have been upheld by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, though the two were acquitted by the High Court.
The full appellate bench headed by the Chief Justice accepted the prosecution’s appeal on the two convicts on Tuesday.
The court had fixed the date for the verdict on Apr 17 after hearing both the prosecution and the defence.
The prosecution had demanded punishment to the conspirators in this case, apart from those involved with the killing. They argued the Appellate Division could give such orders in line with Section 104 of the Constitution to ensure complete justice.
On the other hand, the defence sought upholding a High Court verdict acquitting both Shah and Mridha (both absconding) in the case. It also argued that since the prosecution had not included the issue of ‘conspirators’, the Appellate Division could not deliver verdict on them.
Apart from Shah and Mridha, Risaldar Moslem Uddin, was also awarded death penalty for killing four national leaders inside the Dhaka Central Jail.
The four leaders — Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamruzzaman — were killed on Nov 3, 1975 by a group of army officers.
Chief Prosecutor Anisul Huq argued the case on behalf of the state. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam also joined the arguments.
Defence counsel Abdullah Al Mamun stood for the three absconding convicts.
The jail killings, coming as it did within a few months of the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family, had shocked the nation.
A charge sheet was filed on Oct 15, 1998 against 23 of those accused, 23 years after the case was filed.
On Oct 20, 2004, Dhaka Sessions Judge Mohammed Motiur Rahman gave his verdict on the case, sentencing Risaldar Moslem Uddin, Dafadar Marfat Ali Shah and Dafadar Abul Hashem Mridha to death.
The court had also awarded 12 army officers life sentence, including Syed Farook Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, who had been given death sentence in the Bangabandhu killing case.
Later, the High Court had also acquitted Marfat Ali and Abul Hashem Mridha in 2008 following an appeal, though it upheld the death sentence of Moslem Uddin.
Farook Rahman, Shahriar Rashid, Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin, who had got life sentence, were also acquitted.
The High Court had upheld the sentence of eight military officers – Khandkar Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, MHM B Nur Choudhury, AM Rashed Choudhury, Ahmed Shariful Hossain, Abdul Majed, Kismat Hossain and Najmul Hossain Ansar.
After the current Awami League led government was installed, the state appealed against the Jail Killing Case verdict of the High court on Sep 14, 2009.
Source: Bd news24