High Court invalidates 1982 Bangladesh coup

August 26th, 2010 - 10:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Aug 26 (IANS) The Dhaka High Court Thursday declared illegal the seventh amendment to Bangladesh’s constitution that legitimises the 1982 military coup led by the then army chief Gen. Hossain Muhammad Ershad.
The High Court also invalidated all constitutional acts under the rule of Ershad who had declared martial law after taking over the government March 24, 1982.

The seventh amendment ratified the proclamation of martial law and other regulations, orders and instructions issued by Ershad between March 24, 1982 and Nov 10, 1986.

Ershad, who ruled till December 1990, and remains the longest-serving head of the state, is now a lawmaker whose Jatiya Party is a constituent of the ruling alliance.

Pleading for the annulment of the seventh amendment, M.K. Rahman, the additional attorney general, said what Ershad had done was unconstitutional and he should be prosecuted and punished.

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court Feb 2 had dismissed two petitions challenging the High Court verdict that declared the constitution’s fifth amendment illegal.

The fifth amendment ratified all changes made to the constitution between Aug 15, 1975, and April 9, 1979, giving legitimacy to the regimes of Khandker Mushtaque Ahmed, Abu Sadaat Mohammad Sayem and Major General Ziaur Rahman.

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