Both death and life term can be awarded as highest punishment for rape and killing, the Supreme Court ruled today.
The judgement upheld a High Court verdict that scrapped the provision of single punishment in the concerned law – which was death.
Now, Section 6(2) of Women and Children Repression Prevention (Special) Act 1995 will become void.
The amendment made later in 2000 which offers life sentence as alternative punishment along with the death penalty will take effect.
On March 2, 2010, High Court annulled the concerned section of the law saying it was illegal and unconstitutional to have death as the only punishment for any crime.
Today, Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha-led four member bench of Appellate Division upheld the verdict in response to challenge from the government.
The High Court verdict was given in response to a writ petition filed jointly by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, a rights organization, and a condemned criminal Sukur Ali.
The HC also stayed the execution of Sukur Ali of Manikganj, given death in a rape and killing case of 1999, on the date it annulled the concerned section of the law.
The government moved appeal with the SC against this HC verdict in 2010.