Anti-terror ordinance okayed
The Council of Advisers yesterday approved the Anti-Terrorism Ordinance 2008 with a tough legal provision for death sentence as the maximum penalty or life imprisonment of an offender along with his patron and shelter-giver.
A weekly meeting of the council with Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed in the chair gave the final approval to the ordinance that contains 10 chapters and 44 sections.
Earlier, the council had approved the law in principle.
As per new ordinance, terrorist activity has been defined like this that if any person forces the government or any other person to do or refrain from any job through creating panic among people or sections of people for jeopardizing the integrity of Bangladesh, its
solidarity, security or sovereignty and for that kills a person, inflicts serious injuries, detains or kidnaps or causes loss of property to any person as well as uses or keeps any explosive and flammable material, firearms, or any kind of chemical substances in his or her possession that will be considered terrorist activity.
If any person commits crime against any Bangladeshi staying outside the country or property of Bangladesh, commits crime inside Bangladesh remaining outside Bangladesh and commits crime outside Bangladesh remaining inside Bangladesh, then his or her crime will be tried in the country.
“If any person commits terrorist activity, he or she will be awarded death sentence or life imprisonment or maximum 20 years and minimum 3 years rigorous imprisonment,” says the latest anti-terrorism law.
In addition, there is provision for fining the offender.
Provisions for other sorts of punishment have also been made in the ordinance for sponsoring terrorist activities and sheltering terrors.
If anyone provides money for terrorist activity, provision remains for maximum 20 years and minimum 3 years imprisonment and pecuniary punishment.
“If anybody is member of an outlawed party, he or she will be given maximum 6 months jail or monetary punishment or both,” says the ordinance.
If anyone carries out campaign or broadcast in support of an outlawed party, s/he earns maximum 7 years and minimum 2 years imprisonment plus monetary punishment.
If anyone gives shelter to the criminal, the shelter-man will get maximum 5 years jail and monetary punishment if the punishment for the crime is death sentence, while the shelter-giver will get punishment of maximum 3 years and monetary punishment if the punishment for the crime is life imprisonment or any prison term of the criminal.
Bangladesh Bank will have the authority to identify monetary transactions through banking channel for terror funding.
All crimes under the Ordinance will be cognizable and non-bailable offences.
One or more anti-terrorism special tribunals can be formed for quick trial. The tribunal comprises one session judge or additional session judge appointed by the government in consultation with the Supreme Court.
The judge of the Special Tribunal will complete the trial within six months. Appeal can be made in the High Court against the verdict of the Special Tribunal within 30 days.
In 2006, the previous government had made draft of the Anti-Terrorism Bill and placed at a Cabinet meeting. The cabinet had formed a committee for review of the draft bill, and during this process, the term of that parliament expired.
The council of advisers sent back a proposal for Independent Pay Scale for Bangladesh Bank for examining by the Law Ministry to see whether there is need for any other new act or ordinance for it.
A proposal for approval of the Public Accounts and Audit Review Committee Ordinance 2008 was placed by the Finance Division. But the meeting did not consider it.
Earlier, the caretaker government in a notification has formed the Public Accounts and Audit Review Committee for making audit report in the absence of parliament.
Members of the Advisory Council attended the meeting at the CA's office. Cabinet Secretary, CA's Press Secretary and Secretaries concerned were also present.