Appellate Division stays HC order declaring keeping convicts in condemned cell as illegal

Chamber Justice M Inayetur Rahim issued the ruling staying the HC's orders till 25 August following a hearing on Wednesday (15 May)

Staff Correspondent

May 15 2024 9:59 AM

Appellate Division stays HC order declaring keeping convicts in condemned cell as illegal

A Chamber Court of the Appellate Division has stayed the High Court's order that convicts sentenced to death cannot be taken to the condemned cell before the final verdict.

Chamber Justice M Inayetur Rahim issued the ruling staying the HC's orders till 25 August following a hearing on Wednesday (15 May).

On Monday (13 May), the HC declared the practice of keeping convicts in the condemned cell before the disposal of the petitions as illegal. 

The HC bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Bazlur Rahman passed the order after hearing a writ petition.

Advocate Shishir Monir stood for the petitioner while Attorney General AM Amin Uddin and Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukdar represented the state.

“No convict will be termed a death-row convict before the verdict is finalised. The final judgment means completion of all judicial and administrative processes including those at High Court, Appellate Division and review petition and mercy petition from the President,” said Advocate Sishir Munir.

A convict who was sentenced to death can be kept in the condemned cell if the president rejects his/her mercy petition, he said adding before that no one can be kept in the condemned cell.

However, in exceptional cases for various reasons including physical problems, infectious diseases and sexual diseases, a death-row convict can be kept in a separate cell, he added.

During the hearing, the HC informed that the government is going to form a new jail code and new prison act.

The HC also asked the jail authorities to provide details of death-row convicts to the reporters and researchers if they submit an application seeking information under the Right to Information Act.

The HC also asked the authorities concerned to publish the annual report on the death-row convicts in the Supreme Court websites.

On 2 September, 2021, a writ petition was filed with the High Court challenging the legality of keeping death-row convicts in the condemned cell before the finalisation of the death sentence verdict.

Three prisoners---Zillur Rahman of Chattogram’s Satkania, Abdul Bashir of Sylhet’s Sunamganj and Shah Alam of Khagrachari-- filed the writ petition.

On 5 April, 2022, the High Court issued a rule asking the government to explain why keeping the death-row convicts in the condemned cell before finalisation of the death sentence should not be declared unlawful and unconstitutional.

It also asked to submit a report of the facilities provided to the convicts at the condemned cell.

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