The High Court is yet to start hearing on the death reference and appeals of the sensational Holey Artisan Bakery attack case, although the trial court has finished the case proceedings and delivered the verdict seven months ago.The HC, which is now scheduled to deal with the case for examining the lower court judgement, could not begin the proceedings as the case's paper book has not been prepared due to the ongoing pandemic.
A paper book contains all the case details, trial proceedings, statements, evidence, orders, verdict and other relevant documents. The book is necessary for the HC to hear and dispose of a death reference or an appeal.According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, if a lower court orders death penalty, the verdict is examined by the HC for confirmation of the punishment.
The authorities concerned are at the final stage for preparing the paper books for the HC's hearing, Supreme Court Spokesman Md Saifur Rahman told The Daily Star on Monday.
He said the Bangladesh Government Press will publish its copies very soon, and then the death reference and appeals will be placed before the HC for its hearing and disposal.
The SC spokesperson said the HC authorities have sent the relevant documents to the press early this year. But, it could not finish the job due to the recent closures, said Saifur. He, however, could not say whether the convicts have filed any appeal with the HC, challenging the trial court judgement.On July 1, 2016, five militants, armed with guns, machete and grenades, stormed the upscale eatery in the diplomatic zone in Gulshan and held the diners hostage before brutally killing 20 of them -- three Bangladeshis, seven Japanese, nine Italians and one Indian.
The militants were killed during a rescue operation by army commandos.Two police officials and a chef of the café were also killed during the 12-hour standoff while another injured staffer of the eatery died later.
A Dhaka court on November 27 last year sentenced seven militants to death for their involvement in the attack, terming it a disgraceful attack aimed at assassinating the non-communal character of Bangladesh.The Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal acquitted one accused as it found him not guilty in the atrocity. The court handed down death sentences to seven for their involvement.