Man languishes in jail despite serving a presidential remission of sentence

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 08:56, Jul 16, 2019 | Updated : 10:16, Jul 16, 2019

A general view of the Supreme Court building of Bangladesh. File Photo/Sazzad HossainThe Supreme Court on Monday (Jul 15) ordered the government to immediately release Azmat Ali from jail, even after he served a full term under a presidential remission of sentence in 1991.
Azmat was a former school teacher from Pakhimara village, Jamalpur, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by Jamalpur court on Mar 9, 1989 in a murder case. His 20-year life term for the murder was reduced to a half under the president’s order on Jan 14, 1991.
He was released in 1996 following president's order after serving a jail term for 10 years in a murder case. But he was arrested again in 2009 and is still in prison.
The Appellate Division came up with the order and observation in a full text of its judgment released on Monday.
Earlier on Jun 27, a six member appeal bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain announced the verdict following a review petition filed by Azmat Ali in support from the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee.
The review order was filed against SC verdict of Aug 11, 2010 that scrapped a High Court verdict that acquitted Azmat Ali from the charge of the case filed for killing Rezaul Karim in 1987 in a clash over land dispute.
Why is he back in jail?
Following Azmat Ali’s conviction, sentence and release in 1996, after serving the full sentence remission of 10 years, an appeal filed by Azmat to the High Court also acquitted him of charges on Mar 2, 2005.
The state then filed an appeal with the Supreme Court in 2008 challenging the High Court verdict.
Following that appeal, the Appellate Division on Feb 20, 2008 scrapped the High Court verdict of 2005.
Azmat was again arrested on Oct 20, 2009, and has been in jail since then.
During this nine years of appeals, no representative of the state made the Supreme Court aware of the sentence remission made by the president in 1991, under which Azmat had served his full sentence till his daughter recently filed a review petition through the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee.