Massive size of Pilkhana carnage verdict creates complexities

Bahauddin Imran
Published : 12:45, Feb 25, 2020 | Updated : 12:47, Feb 25, 2020

The mutiny by some members of the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) had started in the Pilkhana headquarters of the border guards in the capital Dhaka on Feb 25, 2009 and ended the following day. As many as 74 people, including 57 army officers were killed. REUTERS/File PhotoHigh Court has published a 29,059 pages full verdict of the Pilkhana carnage. This has been recorded as the biggest verdict in the history of the judiciary.

But lawyers for the state and accused want to appeal against the High Court verdict though they face an awkward situation since the verdict is too big and a record number of criminals were given death sentence.

To make sure that families of the accused understand the verdict, part of it was written in Bangla. The verdict was given by a bench of justices, Abu Zafor Siddique and Nazrul Islam Talukder led by recently retired justice Showkot Hossain.

On Nov 26 and 27 of 2017, the verdict was declared and the death sentence of 139 upheld. The death sentence of eight persons was commuted to life imprisonment and four others were released. One of the accused in the case, BNP leader, Nasiruddin Pintu, died while the trial was on.

The court also maintained the life sentence of 146 persons while 12 were released. Of the 69 released by the judge court, 31 were given life sentence.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, said: “The verdict is a total of 29,059 pages and the accused will have spend a lot of money to get an attested copy of this.”

Lawyer for the accused, Aminul Islam, added: “We will appeal for the release of those who were punished but since the verdict is mammoth, we will need time and an extension of the tenure for the appeal is required.”

To prevent a stalemate, discussion will be carried out on the matter with the chief justice, said Mahbubey Alam.