Govt To Challenge High Court’s Ruling

High Court. File Photo

High Court. File Photo

The government has decided to appeal against the High Court's ruling that prohibits detaining death-row convicts in condemned cells before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court fully resolves their cases. Attorney General AM Amin Uddin confirmed the matter today (14 May) and said the state is preparing to file an appeal to challenge the HC ruling in this regard.

Earlier yesterday (13 May), the High Court (HC) ruled that it is illegal and unlawful to detain death-row convicts in the condemned cell of the prison before their cases are disposed of in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

The bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Md Bazlur Rahman announced the ruling following a writ petition jointly filed by three death-row convicts.

The court also declared regulation 980 of the Bangladesh Jail Code, which allows such use of condemned cells, unconstitutional.

As per Rule 980 of the Jail Code, every prisoner sentenced to death shall, from the date of his sentence, and without waiting for the sentence to be confirmed by the High Court Division, be confined in some safe place, a cell if possible, within the jail, apart from all other prisoners.

The High Court also issued directives that prisoners who got death sentences in various cases but whose appeal and review petitions have not yet been disposed of should be provided with the same facilities in jail as other prisoners.

Besides, the court has sought a report within six months on the facilities available for the accused kept in condemned cells.

On 3 September 2022, a writ petition was filed with the High Court challenging the legality of keeping the death row accused in the condemned cell before the final disposal of the case.

On 5 April 2023, the High Court asked the authorities to explain why keeping death-row convicts in condemned cells before their appeal and review applications are disposed of should not be declared illegal.

The High Court on 12 December last year concluded the hearings in this regard.

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