• Monday, Nov 18, 2019
  • Last Update : 11:13 am

HC withdraws stay on 28-year old murder case

  • Published at 07:40 pm June 26th, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

It has also asked for a list of stayed criminal offence cases to be submitted within three weeks

The High Court has cleared the way for continuing a 28-year-old murder case after it dismissed a rule that had stayed the trial proceedings.

A High Court division bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order on Wednesday, asking Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) to carry out further investigation into the case and complete it within 60 working days.

The court also ordered the lower court involved to conclude the trial proceedings within 90 working days after the investigation ends.

The case was lodged over the murder of Sagira Morshed, 34, who was gunned down by unidentified muggers in front of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in the capital’s Bailey Road on July 25, 1989.

Sagira’s husband, Salam Chowdhury, filed the case against unnamed assailants that very day with Ramna police station.

A rickshaw-puller, an eyewitness to the crime, had identified two of the killers, but police filed charge sheet only against one Montu.

Dhaka First Additional Sessions Judge Abu Bakar Siddique on January 17, 1991, framed charges against Montu. The testimonies of seven witnesses were also recorded.

However, during the hearing, the prosecution brought up allegations against one Maruf Reza, a close relative of the then home minister Mahmudul Hasan. The suspect was subsequently charged and arrested. 

However, his name was dropped from the charge sheet.

Following a plea by the prosecution, the court on May 23, 1991, ordered further investigation. But the proceedings of the case were stayed by the High Court as Maruf Reza filed a petition, challenging the further investigation order. 

Since then, 28 years have passed with the case proceedings being stayed by the High Court order.

The last investigation officer of the case recently drew the attention of the attorney general's office to the case, and the state then finally took the initiative to withdraw the stay order.

HC orders list of stayed cases

The same bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman has also ordered the High Court division registrar to submit a list of criminal offence cases with stay orders, within the next three weeks.

Last year, Law Minister Anisul Huq said in a parliamentary session, until March 31, 2018, a total of 3,582,347 cases have remained pending with various courts across the country. 

Among those, a total of 317,443 criminal offence cases remain pending with the High Court.