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Int’l Crimes (Tribunals) Act curtails SC authority: Razzaq

Edit Date:8/17/2010 12:00:00 AM


Staff Correspondent

Abdur Razzaq, the counsel for two Jamaat leaders, who challenged the proceedings of the International Crimes Tribunal formed for war crimes trial, on Tuesday told the High Court the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 which formed the tribunal had curtailed the authority of the Supreme Court.
   Razzaq said the Supreme Court’s authority of judicial review had been seized by Sections 21 and 24 of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act as no person suspected of war crimes could get remedy from any court by filing appeal against any interim order of the tribunal until it would pronounce the final judgment.
   He referred to Section 24 of the act which says no order, judgement or sentence of a tribunal
   would be called into question in any manner in or before any court or other authority in any legal
   proceedings except a person convicted of the offences.
   He also referred to Section 21 which says a person convicted of the crimes only has the right to appeal with the Appellate Division against such conviction and sentence.
   After the hearing, the bench of Justice Md Abdul Wahhab Miah and Justice Quazi Reza-ul Hoque asked the attorney general, Mahbubey Alam, to explain Razzaq’s submission during the next hearing on August 22.
   The court also observed that the act should have provisions to allow the aggrieved people to move court against any interim order of the tribunal.
   It also said some special tribunals such as the administrative appellate tribunal, had been formed but the tribunals had not curtailed the Supreme Court’s judicial review authority.
   Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretaries general Mohammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla, now detained on war crimes charges, on Monday filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the first amendment to the constitution effected in 1973 and some sections of the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973.
   The government on March 25 formed the tribunal to try the people involved in war crimes.
   Razzaq said in 1973, the government had listed 195 foreigners to have been involved in war crimes and later enacted the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act 1973 to try the people who are members of any armed or defence or auxiliary forces or who are prisoners of war, for genocide and crimes against humanity.
   But the government in 2009 amended the act by inserting a provision which said that any individual could be tried under the act.


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