Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday said the High Court hearing on the death references and appeals of the August 21 grenade attack cases may start this year, as their paper books will be prepared within two to four months.
“The work for preparing the paper books of the August 21 grenade attack cases has already started. We are trying so that the hearing of the death references and appeals of the cases start as soon as possible,” he said while talking to reporters at his secretariat office.
A paper book contains all the details of a case, trial proceedings, statements, evidence, verdicts and other documents. It is necessary for the HC to hear and dispose of a death reference and an appeal.
Once the paper book is ready, an HC bench hears and disposes of its death reference and appeal.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), if a lower court awards death penalty, the verdict is examined by the HC for confirmation of the punishment.
Yesterday, the law minister said, “I can say that that the relevant process for preparing the paper books have already started. The prosecution will see to it that the paper books of the August 21 grenade attack cases are readied quickly. The paper books of these cases will be quite big as there are 225 witnesses.”
Replying to a question, the minister said the government is working to bring all the fugitive convicts of August 21 grenade attack cases, including BNP acting chairperson Tarique Rahman, back to the country to execute the court verdict.
“There are some complexities in bringing the fugitives back and the government is trying to resolve the problems in this regard,” he said.
A special court in Dhaka delivered the verdict in the cases on October 10 last year.
BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman and 18 others were sentenced to life in prison while former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar and 18 others were given death penalty on charges of murder through criminal conspiracy.
All 38 accused were also sentenced to life in prison for causing grievous injuries to the survivors.
On January 13 this year, the HC accepted the appeals for hearing and also stayed part of the trial court verdict that fined the convicts of the cases.
The HC will hold the hearing on the death references and appeals after relevant procedures are completed.