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SC upholds status of 196 freedom fighters

Published : 12 Aug 2021 09:49 PM | Updated : 13 Aug 2021 02:56 PM

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the High Court orders that stayed the government decision for cancelling freedom fighter (FF) status of 196 retired members of Army, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Bangladesh Air Force (BAF).

The apex court also directed the government to provide allowances and financial benefits to the people as FFs whose gazette was cancelled.  

A five-member bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, dismissed five separate appeals filed by the government, challenging the HC orders.

Supreme Court lawyers Barrister Ahsanul Karim, Sabrina Jerin and Abdul Qaium stood in the court for the petitioners, while Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad Morshed represented the state during the virtual hearing of the appeals.

On September 21 in 2020, the HC had stayed the government decision of cancelling the freedom fighter status of 196 retired members of Army, BGB and BAF, and also directed the government to give them financial benefits as FFs.

On June 7 last year, the Liberation War Affairs Affairs Ministry had issued two separate gazette notifications cancelling the freedom fighter status of 1,134 retired BGB personnel and 47 retired BAF personnel, including the 196 writ petitioners, on charge of obtaining the status by placing forged documents.

Later, the 196 people separately filed writ petitions to the High Court challenging the validity of the gazette.