Bangladesh court invalidates ex-military ruler’s laws

May 15th, 2011 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 15 (IANS) Bangladesh’s Supreme Court has declared illegal the laws and rules that were passed when General H.M. Ershad was in power.

A six-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice A.B.M. Khairul Haque declared the martial law rules, regulations and orders issued by Gen H.M. Ershad as illegal, void and unconstitutional, The Daily Star reported.

The court provisionally condoned the acts committed during the military regime of Ershad between March 24, 1982 and Nov 10, 1986.

It said the international treaties done during this period will continue.

Ershad, Bangladesh’s longest serving ruler, had seized power and declared martial law. He was subsequently elected the president, who ruled till December 1990, when a mass movement forced him to step down.

He is a lawmaker who belongs to the ruling alliance led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The apex court cancelled the trial and conviction of Siddique Ahmed, who was convicted and sentenced to life term imprisonment in a murder case by a martial law court in 1986.

The Supreme Court had last year also invalidated the constitution’s fifth amendment that was enacted by another military ruler, Gen. Ziaur Rahman.

General Zia too was elected the president. He was slain in a military putsch in May 1981, prompting Ershad to declare martial law.

The apex court has passed strictures against past military regimes during 1975 and 1990 and has asked parliament to amend the constitution in a way that would dissuade military take over in future.

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