Thursday, 13 January 2011

The High Court on Wednesday asked the Cabinet Secretary to submit the names and whereabouts of the army men who were pivotal in making decisions from behind to run the state between November 1975 and August 1976.

The court also asked the Establishment and Defense secretaries to submit the names and whereabouts of the members of the Special Martial Law Tribunal which awarded death sentence to Lt Col (retd) MA Taher, Bir Uttam.

Besides, the HC division bench, headed by Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury, asked the government to submit the First Information Report (FIR) that was lodged with Mohammadpur police station on June 4, 1976 against Taher in connection with the sedition case.

The bench asked to comply with its directives by January 18.

The HC orders came during the rule hearing on a writ petition challenging the validity of the martial law regulation that had constituted a special tribunal for trying Col Taher and others.

Taher was accused of waging war against Bangladesh under section 121 A of the Penal Code, which provides for maximum punishment of life-term imprisonment.

Against the backdrop of a serious crisis in the army after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur, the father of the nation, Taher organised an uprising on November 7 in 1975.

A sector commander during the Liberation War in 1971 and JSD vice-president, Taher was executed on July 21 in 1976, within 72 hours of the verdict delivered by a five-member special martial law tribunal headed by Brig Yusuf Haider, when Ziaur Rahman was the Chief Martial Law Administrator.

The special martial law tribunal was set up inside the Dhaka Central Jail and the trial was held in camera.

The writ petition was filed by Prof Anwar Hossain, younger brother of executed Taher, along with two other close relatives, after 34 years as the petitioners could not seek legal remedy earlier due to enforcement of the 5th amendment of the Constitution that ratified
all the martial law acts, now outlawed following a Supreme Court judgment.
Dhaka, Jan 12 (UNB)

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