HC scraps operation clean heart indemnity law, 2003

HC scraps operation clean heart indemnity law, 2003

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Terming it contradictory to the constitution, the High Court (HC) on Sunday scrapped the Joint Drive Indemnity Act, 2003 that had legalised all actions taken place under the ‘Operation Clean Heart’ during the BNP rule.
A two-member HC bench comprising Justice Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md. Ashraful Kamal passed the order after the final hearing on a public interest litigation filed by Supreme Court lawyer ZI Khan Panna.The court also allowed the victims of ‘Operation Clean Heart’ to file criminal and civil cases against the law enforcers who had been involved in torturing and killing of people during the tenure of BNP-Jamaat government.
The victims can also file cases seeking compensation. The measure has the potential to open another flood gate for filing cases against leaders and activists of Bnp and Jamaat.
During the BNP-Jamaat alliance tenure, the then joint forces had carried out countrywide operations named ‘Operation Clean Heart’ from October 16, 2002 to January 9, 2003.
On February 24, 2003, the government passed ‘Joint Drive Indemnity Act, 2003’ in order to give indemnity to all joint forces’ actions.
Later, on June 14, 2012, Supreme Court lawyer ZI Khan Panna filed a writ petition with the HC challenging the legality of the indemnity act.
On June 29, the HC, after a primary hearing, issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why the law would not be declared illegal.
The HC also asked why a Tk 100 crore fund would not be raised to compensate the victims of the operation.
Secretaries to the ministries of Law, Home and Defence, Army Chief and IGP were made respondents to the rule.
Later, the court on August 31 fixed September 13 to pass the order.
Lawyer Shahidin Malik stood for the writ petitioners while Deputy Attorney General Motahar Hossain Sazu argued for the state.- UNB

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