The Supreme Court yesterday appointed four eminent jurists as “amicus curiae” (friend of the court), for hearing their expert opinions on the meaning and tenure of a convict's life imprisonment.
The experts have been requested to place their legal interpretations on whether life term means jail sentence of a convict for 22 and a half years after omitting seven and a half years' remission from 30 years or until natural death of the convict.
Under Section 57 of the Penal Code, life sentence refers to 30 years' prison term.
The four appointed amicus curiae are: Advocate AS Hasan Ariff, Barrister Rokanuddin Mahmud, Advocate Abdur Rezak Khan and Advocate Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury.
The Supreme Court requested them to place their expert opinions over the issue before it on May 9.
A six-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC -- headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain -- passed the order while hearing a review petition filed by one Ataur Mridha.
Mridha challenged an apex court verdict that on February 14, 2017 had commuted his death penalty to life imprisonment in a murder case.
The Appellate Division bench headed by the then Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha had said life imprisonment means jail sentence until natural death of the convict.
The same year, Mridha submitted the petition to the Supreme Court seeking review of its judgment.
Citing the review petition, Mridha's lawyer Advocate Shishir Monir told The Daily Star that as per relevant section of the law and according to another apex court judgment, a convict has to serve jail sentence for 22 and a half years after omitting the highest remission if he or she is sentenced to life imprisonment.
The review petition came up before the Appellate Division for hearing yesterday.
Attorney general Mahbubey Alam prayed to the apex court to settle the petition on whether life imprisonment is jail sentence until death or 22 and a half years in jail.