Debate Over Life Imprisonment
SC to deliver verdict today
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict today on a petition filed by a convict for reviewing its 2017 ruling that life imprisonment means a jail term for the convict's entire life in jail, not 30 years.
On November 24, the
seven-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain fixed the schedule after a fresh hearing on the review petition filed by convict Ataur Rahman in February 2017.
On July 11 in 2019, the Appellate Division concluded the hearing on the review petition but said that judgement would be delivered any day.
In the case, the SC heard senior lawyers Rokanuddin Mahmud, AF Hassan Ariff and AM Amin Uddin, now Attorney General, as amicus curiae over the issue.
All but Rokanuddin submitted that imprisonment for life meant convicts' 30 years in jail, according to the penal code.
During the hearing on Tuesday, AM Amin Uddin as the successor of the late attorney general Mahbubey Alam adopted the contention that imprisonment means convict's jail until his death.
Senior lawyers Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury, who appeared for the convict, argued that the definition of life term imprisonment cannot be changed until the penal code is amended.
They contended that according to the penal code imprisonment for life means convicts' 30 years in jail.
A four-judge bench headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha on February 14 in 2017 lined that the life imprisonment means jailing of the convicts until their natural death in jail amid debate over the tenure of life imprisonment.
The Appellate Division dismissed the appeals filed by three death row-convicts Ataur Rahman Mridha, Anwar and Kamrul challenging their death sentences upheld by the High Court in 2007.
On October 15 in 2003, the trial court awarded death sentences to the three for killing Zaman in Ashulia on December 16 in 2001.
Zaman was shot dead by a group of armed people.