Indemnity Act: Negation of justice
Indemnity word means "acquit ", that is, the indemnity ordinance is the ordinance through which arrangements were made to avoid punishment. Khandaker Mushtaq Ahmed issued an Ordinance on 26 September 1975. For the sake of this indemnity ordinance, the case of the murder case of Bangabandhu was not judged for 21 years.
Later, on 9 July 1979, during the time of Ziaur Rahman, this black law was approved in Parliament. Not only that, on July 9, 1979, after the 5th amendment of the Bangladesh Constitution during the General Zia's era, the law was included in the constitution of the Bangladesh Constitution. In the history of Bangladesh, such a black law was never before and later.
After the bronze massacre, the killers do not judge and the names of those who were in the back of the killing were not published, so that the murderer was issued by the indemnity ordinance. Although there was a signature of Mushtaq in this indemnity ordinance, many people believe that the main player behind this Ordinance was Ziaur Rahman.
Khandaker Mushtaq has signature on the written Ordinance of 'The Bangladesh Gazette, Published by Authority'. After the signing of Mushtaq, there is a signature of the Secretary of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in the charge. The ordinance has two parts. In the first part, it has been said that on 15 August 1975, the case against the Supreme Court, including the Supreme Court, with the Supreme Court, may not be able to go to any legal process, regardless of the Supreme Court, or any legal process.
In the second part, it is said that the impunity of those who certify that the President is involved with the mentioned incident. That is, they cannot be sued in any court in any court, complaints or in any legal process.
On November 7, 1975, Major General Ziaur Rahman was admitted as the state power system. At that time Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem was the President. On April 29, 1976, President Sayem General Ziaur Rahman handed over the responsibility of the main military law administrator. On 21 April 1977, Sayem stepped down from the post of President and Zia became the President. On February 18, 1979, the second parliamentary election was held in the country under the military law.
In the election Ziaur Rahman's party BNP won two-thirds of the seats. From August 15, 1975, all the ordinances, declares under the fifth amendment of the constitution, under the military law in four years, including Indemnity Ordinances, from April 9, 1979, were given legal validity through the fifth amendment to the constitution. The amendment was passed on 9 April 1979. The law raised in Parliament was the name of 'Constitution (fifth amendment) Act, 1979' and 1 of 1975 for the validity of the indemnity ordinance through this amendment.
Notice a little, if the indemnity Ordinance issued by Mushtaq was not validated during Ziaur Rahman's regime, on April 9, 1979, legal action could be taken against the killers of August 15, 15 August. Ziaur Rahman could take action. That time it was spread that, since it became part of the constitution, it would not be changed and after the death of Ziaur Rahman, Justice Abdus Sattar, HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia came to power in 1991, but the Indemnity Ordinance did not cancel or abolish.
Ziaur Rahman was the army chief. Therefore, in addition to the instructions or consent of the state of the army chief Ziaur Rahman at that time, there would not be possible to impunity the killers of Bangabandhu in any way, without the instructions or consent of the army chief Ziaur Rahman. That is why Ziaur Rahman cannot avoid liability for this indemnity ordinance. And Bangabandhu's self-recognized murderers have clearly said that General Ziaur Rahman was involved in the murder of Bangabandhu.
According to the constitutional experts and the lawmakers, the Indemnity Ordinance issued by the killer of Mushtaq was not validated during Ziaur Rahman's regime, with the withdrawal of military law on 9 April 1979, legal action could be taken against the killers of August 15. Ziaur Rahman, who captured power could take action. But he took the steps away, arranging for anyone in the future.
Even after the death of Ziaur Rahman, Justice Abdus Sattar, General HM Ershad, General HM Ershad and Khaleda Zia came to power, but the black law was not cancelled or abolished. As a result, the murderers were involved in the assassination of August 15, welcomed. From Zia to Khaleda Zia, all the governments have rewarded Bangabandhu's killers instead of trial. It is very embarrassing for us as a nation.
Rather, Zia gave job to the killers in the embassy, Ershad and Khaleda Zia bear the liability with their promotion. The murderers have been involved in the murder of August 15, after getting impunity, were employed in the embassy, which is utterly a shameful incident.
The people of this country and the people of the world, were surprised that after the death of the Father of the Nation, the path of trial was closed by issuing the notorious indemnity ordinance. Perhaps there is no other example of such abusive ordinance/law to stop trial in a civilized country.
After the long struggle, the situation was changed after Bangladesh Awami League came to power in 1996. The government was formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Later the government annulled the ordinance. A commission was formed and its report was sent for the opinion of the law commission, the commission led by former Chief Justice FK M Munir also supported it.
Then the minister of the then law raised a bill called 'The Indemnity Repeat Act-1996' for the cancellation of the late Advocate Abdul Matin Khasru Indemnity Ordinance Bill. Later, in the parliament the bill was passed. Thus the infamous indemnity ordinance of humanity and civilization was abolished. Through this initiative the way to trial of Bangabandhu killing was open.
R A Sharear is Lawyer &
Adjunct Faculty Member
of a Private University