The High Court (HC) on Sunday acquitted all seven accused in a murder case filed in 1998. Of the seven, four were previously handed the death penalty and the remaining three were sentenced to life imprisonment by the relevant lower court.
The HC bench of Justices Krishna Debnath and ASM Abdul Mobin delivered this verdict after hearing the death reference and accepting the appeal filed by the convicted accused who challenged the lower-case verdict in the Badal Sarder murder case filed in Bhandaria upazila of Pirojpur district.
Lawyers of this case said at the time of the murder, one of the accused was serving time in prison in another case. But a witness testified in court about the involvement of this accused in Badal Sarder's murder.
The High Court took this and several other matters into consideration when deciding to drop all charges against the accused.
Deputy Attorney General Shaheen Ahmed Khan represented the state in this case, while Advocate Fazlul Huq Khan Farid, and Sheikh Ali Ahmed Khokon, among others, represented the convicted accused.
According to case details, Badal Sarder, son of Jalal Sardar in the Bhitabaria village under Bhandaria upazila was hacked to death on 1 September 1998. Badal's father later filed a case, seeking accountability for the murder of his son.
In 2003, following an appeal by the defendants to the High Court, the case was shifted from the Pirojpur District and Session Judge Court to the Jhalakathi District and Session Judge Court.
SM Solayman, judge of Jhalakathi District and Session Judge Court, delivered the verdict on 1 July 2015.
The accused sentenced to death are Shahid Shikder, Dulal Shikder, Badal Shikder, and Nijam Shikder, while the life imprisonment was offered to Salam Sardar, Harun Shikder, and Minu Shikder.
The lower court then acquitted six other accused.