The High Court yesterday (January 26) directed the government to explain why formation of the military Tribunal that in 1976 had tried Hasanul Haq Inu, Rabiul Alam and others would not be declared illegal and unconstitutional.
The government was also asked to answer why the sentence given by the Tribunal against them would not be declared illegal.
A bench of the High Court comprising Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury and Justice Md Zakir Hossain passed the rule upon a Writ petition filed by Hasanul Haq Inu, President of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), and Rabiul Alam, JSD Vice President.
They filed the petition changeling the martial law regulations (MLR), under which the Tribunal was formed, and seeking compensation for them as victims.
Barrister Rokon Uddin Mahmud appeared for the petitioners in the court.
Barrister Rokon after the hearing told journalists that the military Tribunal, formed under MLR no 16 in 1976, had tried his two clients and others including Col (Retd) Abu Taher. The Tribunal had sentenced Taher to death and others in jail for different terms.
Hearing on the rule is likely to be held along with that of another petition, filed challenging trail of Abu Taher, ongoing with the same HC bench, lawyers told.
Meanwhile, the HC bench extended its earlier order that directed then military officer Maj Gen (Retd) Nurul Islam Shishu, who was allegedly involved in formation of the military Tribunal, for one week.
If Shishu does not appear before the court within the seven-day time period, legal action would be taken against him, HC bench said.
Earlier on January 18, the bench directed Shishu to physically appear before it on January 26 and to give statement over the trial.
The court also ordered the secretaries to Cabinet Division, Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry and Pirojpur Deputy Commissioner to ensure appearance of Nurul Islam in the court.
Nurul Islam along with his family members is now staying in Oklahoma of USA, according to sources.