The High Court (HC) yesterday passed a divided order upon a Writ petition filed challenging legality of releasing 195 identified Pakistani war criminals through a trilateral treaty signed among Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in 1974.
Wing Commander Hamidullah Khan, who was also a Sector Commander during the Liberation War in 1971, filed the Writ petition with the HC.
The HC bench comprising Justice Mohammad Anwarul Haque and Justice Syed Abu Kowser Md Dabirush-shan passed the divided order after hearing on the petition.
The bench's senior Justice Mohammad Anwarul Haque rejected the Writ.
Its another Justice Syed Abu Kowser Md Dabirush-shan issued a rule upon the government to explain as to why releasing the 195 identified Pakistani war criminals through the trilateral treaty, singed by Dr Kamal Hossain on behalf of Bangladesh, should not be declared illegal.
The Justice also directed the government to inform it why a direction to bring the 195 identified war criminals under trial after returning them to Bangladesh should not be given.
The Home Ministry, Dr Kamal Hossain and the Registrar of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) were asked to reply within four weeks.
Lawyers said, the 195 Pakistani soldiers, who were identified as war criminals for committing crimes during the Liberation War in 1971, were forgiven, released and returned to Pakistan through the trilateral treaty.
For bringing the 195 war criminals under trial, The First Amendment to the Constitution was passed in the Parliament on July 15 in 1973, they said.
Through the amendment, Article 47(3) and 47(A) (1) and (2) were added to the Constitution, they added.
Based on this amendment of the Constitution, the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) was enacted on July 20, 1973 to bring the war criminals under trial.
Even after amending the First Amendment to bring the 195 Pakistani army soldiers under trial, they were freed, violating the Constitution clearly, said the lawyers.
Barrister Fakhrul Islam, Adv Rezaul Karim and Barrister Munshi Ahsan Kabir appeared in the court on behalf of Wing Commander Hamidullah Khan.
While Advocate Abdus Salam stood for the government.