The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) said that no death-row convict could be executed before release of the full text of verdict delivered by the apex court.
A five-member full bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain issued the order after a lawyer told the apex court that the jail authorities have recently taken initiative to execute one Shukur Ali following an ‘advance order’ of the top court
The apex court ordered the inspector general of prisons (IG Prisons) and jail authorities to suspend the execution of death penalty of Shukur Ali, who was convicted in a child abduction, rape and murder case in Kushtia, as the full text of verdict was not released till now.
The court asked Attorney General AM Amin Uddin to communicate the verbal order to the IG prisons and Kashimpur jail authorities.
Earlier, Shukur Ali’s lawyer Helal Uddin Mollah informed the court of the matter. The lawyer told the court that Shukur Ali could not seek review of the SC verdict as its full text was not released yet.
The bench of the Appellate Division also asked lawyer Helal Uddin Mollah to submit an application before its chamber judge’s court for necessary directives on the issue.
The Appellate Division on August 18 this year affirmed the death penalty of Shukur Ali, and commuted death sentences of three others to life imprisonment in the case filed for abduction, rape and murder of 13-year-old Sabina in Kushtia.
The apex court also asked the jail authorities to shift the three convicts, whose death sentences were commuted, to normal cell. The three convicts are Nuruddin Sentu, Azanur Rahman and Mamun Hossain.
Convict Shukur Ali has the right to seek review of the apex court verdict and presidential mercy. If his mercy appeals are rejected, then the jail authorities can execute his death sentence.
Sabina, daughter of Abdul Malek Jhonu from Lalnagar village under Daulatpur upazila in Kushtia, went to a neighbour's house to watch TV on the night of March 25 in 2004.
The convicts abducted her while she was returning home. They took her to a tobacco field, raped and killed her. The following day, her father Abdul Malek filed a case with the Daulatpur Police Station in connection with the incident.
The Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal of Kushtia on February 4 in 2009 convicted and sentenced five accused -- Shukur, Sentu, Azanur, Mamun and Kamrul to death in the case.
Then the convicts filed separate appeals with the High Court, challenging the trial court’s verdict.
The HC in 2014 upheld their capital punishment. Later, the convicts filed appeals with the Appellate Division challenging the HC verdict.
The following day, her father filed a case with the Daulatpur Police Station in connection with the incident.