• Stephen J Rapp talks to Shafique Ahmed
  • Taranco extends tour, press briefing postponed
  • Dec 19 new deadline for bidding for Padma bridge: Minister
  • Family members asked to meet Quader by 8:00pm today
  • Faruk named new chief selector
  • Both parties met, agreed to continue dialogue, says Taranco
  • 35 injured in Jamaat-police clash in Rajshahi
  • ICT-1 irked by death of witness, asks for security
  • Lawyers meet Molla in jail
  • Doctors, staff clash in Mitford Hospital
  • World unites for Mandela memorial
  • Nuclear war to 'end civilization' with famine: study
  • Witness against Sayedee dies
  • 3 injured in oil tanker fire in Chittagong
  • Quader Molla to hang after midnight
  • Empty election train to be halted: BNP
Print Friendly and PDF

Govt decides jail code does not apply to Molla

David Bergman

Abdul Quader Molla, whose execution warrant was sent on Sunday to the Dhaka Central Jail, will be executed without application of the jail code, New Age has confirmed.
The Inspector General of Prisons, Mainuddin Khandaker told New Age, ‘We will absolutely apply the 1973 International Crimes (Tribunal) Act.’
He said that this meant that ‘the jail code does not apply’ and that the jail authorities just have to wait ‘for direction from the home ministry’ before taking steps to execute Molla.
Quamrul Islam, the state minister for law, also told New Age, ‘Yes, the jail code does not apply, that is correct.’
Without application of the jail code, Molla will not have the right to take a period of 15 days to decide whether to seek presidential mercy.
According to rule 991(1) of the code, as amended in May 2010, the jail authorities should inform the convict immediately on receiving a warrant for execution that ‘if he desires to submit a petition for mercy [to the president], it must be submitted in writing within fifteen days … ’ 
Application of the code would also have allowed a further delay of 21 days in Molla’s execution after the president had rejected any mercy application that he might have made.
The inspector general told New Age that as far as he knew this was for the first time that the jail code would not apply to the execution of a person detained in a Bangladeshi prison.
‘The jail code normally applies to other cases, where there is no bar. But in this case, which is a new example for us, the International Crimes Tribunal is a completely comprehensive act and that is why the code does not apply,’ he said.
‘Yes, this is the first case of its kind.’
On 5 February, the International Crimes Tribunal convicted Molla on five counts of crimes against humanity involving offences during the 1971 war of independence sentencing him to life imprisonment. It also acquitted him on one other count.
Following large protests in the Shahbagh area of Dhaka demanding that Molla receive the death penalty, the government changed the law, allowing the prosecution to appeal against the sentences of life imprisonment, the defence already having that right. 
On 17 September 2013, the appellate division, in a majority judgment, dismissed the appeals made by Quader Molla’s lawyers confirming the convictions on five counts, reversing the verdict of acquittal on one count, and handing down the death sentence on one count concerning his involvement in the massacre of a family.
The Inspector General of Prisons, who was until four days ago an additional secretary to the home ministry, referred to two sections of the 1973 law to explain why the jail code did not apply to Molla.
Section 26, he said, showed that ‘the Act overrides all other laws.’
The section states, ‘The provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force.’
He then referred to section 20(3) of the 1973 law, which states, ‘The sentence awarded under this Act shall be carried out in accordance with the orders of the Government.’
‘The government for us means the ministry of home affairs and we are waiting to get direction from the ministry before we proceed,’ he said.
He said that he had not received any order from the home affairs ministry as yet.
Khandaker, the IGP, explained to New Age that the prison service had not sought any legal opinion on this matter.
‘We are not supposed to write anything, or seek any legal opinion,’ he said.
When asked how he had come to the conclusion about the non-application of the jail code, he said, ‘It is not my interpretation. The 1973 law is there, and so is the verdict of higher court and warrant of execution.’
The IGP spoke to New Age after taking part in a meeting at the Law Ministry attended by amongst others the Shafique Ahmed, the adviser to the prime minister, and Quamrul Islam, the state minister for law
The opinion of the law ministry and the inspector general of prisons stands in contrast with the statement made on Sunday by the ICT prosecutor Zead Al Malum who said, ‘The prison authorities will now execute him in line with the jail codes’ and stated that only ‘a presidential clemency’ could stop the execution.
On hearing that the government had taken a decision that the jail code did not apply, Abdur Razzaq, the head of the defence legal team, said, ‘It is our question how will the government carry out the execution. Will it be by rope? Will it be by injection? How many seconds will Molla be kept hanging? All these details are only found in the jail code.’
‘The government is effectively saying that in the manner of hanging we will follow the jail code, but when it does not suit us we will not,’ he added.
Razzaq also pointed out that the jail authorities had all along accepted that the jail code applied to Molla and the other war crimes accused, ‘by giving them division’ and that ‘the prosecution and tribunal have never argued before that the jail code do not apply’.

Reader’s Comment

comments powered by Disqus

Schoolboy killed, blockade extended by 72 more hours

Activists of 18-party alliance set a filling station ablaze at Sirajganj after a minor was shot dead during a clash with police. 
â New Age photo
A schoolboy was caught in the crossfire and killed in fighting between the police and opposition activists in Sirajganj while clashes at places across the country left dozens injured on Monday as the ongoing rail-road-waterway blockade was... Full story

PM firm on Jan 5 polls

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday told a cabinet meeting that the parliamentary election would be held on January 5 with no change in the schedule. âThe prime minister expressed her firm resolve to hold... Full story

BR re-inducts advanced loco pilot system

Reminiscent of Ershad days, Bangladesh Railway has, for the second time in its history, inducted the advance loco pilot system to ensure safety of trains against possible attacks, said officials. Under the system an advance pilot locomotive... Full story

Ershad orders nomination withdrawal by Dec 13

Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad on Monday ordered his partyâs candidates to withdraw nomination papers for the 10th national polls by December 13. As per the Election Commission announced schedule, December 13... Full story

Jamaat calls hartal also for today

The Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami on Monday again called nationwide a dawn-to-dusk general strike for today protesting at the possible execution on its assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Molla. The party, a major component of the Bangladesh... Full story

Govt decides jail code does not apply to Molla

Abdul Quader Molla, whose execution warrant was sent on Sunday to the Dhaka Central Jail, will be executed without application of the jail code, New Age has confirmed. The Inspector General of Prisons, Mainuddin... Full story

Taranco hopes for solution

After a flurry of parleys with political leaders and other stakeholders for the past three days, UN assistant secretary general for political affairs Oscar Fernández -Taranco on Monday appeared a bit optimistic about a âpeacefulâ solution to the current impasse... Full story

Wife alleges witness fraud

War crimes convict Abdul Quader Mollaâs lawyer in a legal notice on Monday asked the government not to proceed with the âillegally issued warrantâ for the execution of his death sentence until his review petition was disposed of. Full story

Thai PM calls elections as 140,000 join protest

Thailandâs premier called a snap election Monday to try to defuse the kingdomâs political crisis, but protesters kept up their fight to topple the government with an estimated 140,000 demonstrators flooding the streets of Bangkok. Full story

New partyâs wins leave Delhi leadership unclear

A new political party pledging to sweep corruption from the Indian capital made surprising gains in state elections, grabbing a huge share of votes from the incumbent Congress party and leaving Delhi with no clear leader on Monday... Full story

Growers frustrated with heavy loss due to blockade

The growers were frustrated with heavy loss as seasonal crops including winter vegetables were being perished due to disruption of supply chain during the ongoing nationwide blockade enforced by the BNP-led 18-party alliance. Full story

Hate war criminals forever, says PM

Recipients of Begum Rokeya Padak 2013 pose for a photograph with prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the award ceremony in Dhaka on Monday. â New Age photo
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday urged the countryâs womenfolk to hate the war criminals for all time and forge unity against the evil force trying to dislodge womenâs progress and emancipation. Full story

Houses of natâl minority vandalised in Rajshahi

At least 10 people were injured as miscreants vandalised and set fire to the houses of national minority at Godagari in Rajshahi Sunday night. Among the injured Gonesh Mardy and Sonaton Marady were taken to Rajshahi Medical College Hospital on... Full story

Bitter cold, ice slam US East Coast, South still freezing

A tanker truck throws icy road spray on Interstate 66 in Manassas, Virginia outside of Washington Sunday. âReuter photo
A massive winter storm that drove parts of the southern United States into a deep freeze over the weekend kept a tight grip on the region on Monday while bitter temperatures, snow and ice spread through the East Coast. The brutal storm pummelled the... Full story

Hearing begins in Hague

The hearing in the case related to the Bay of Bengal maritime boundary dispute between Bangladesh and India began at the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands. Full story

President leaves for South Africa

President Abdul Hamid left Dhaka this afternoon for South Africa on a three-day visit to pay homage to former South African president and anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela on behalf of himself and people of Bangladesh. Full story

UK minister Warsi due in Dhaka on Dec 12

British minister of state at foreign and commonwealth office Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi is likely to arrive in Dhaka on a dayâs visit on Thursday with the current political standoff over elections on top of her agenda. Baroness Warsi is likely to meet... Full story

China wants inclusive polls

China on Monday called for fair and inclusive polls in Bangladesh amid spiraling violence ahead of the January 5 general election. âAs a friendly neighbour of Bangladesh, China sincerely hopes that relevant parties in Bangladesh... Full story

PM rebukes Muhith

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Monday rebuked finance minister AMA Muhith for his remark that credibility of the election might be questioned if the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party boycotted the 10th parliamentary polls. Full story
  • Online Poll

    Do you think that the government has successfully brought back normalcy in public life after the January 5 elections?

    • Yes
    • No
    • No comment
    Ajax Loader