The High Court has issued a directive to suspend freedom fighter gallantry awards given to four convicts who killed the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.
The High Court bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam came up with the order after the preliminary hearing on the writ filed by a Supreme Court lawyer on Tuesday.
The four convicts are Shariful Haque Dalim, SHMB Nur Chowdhury, AM Rashed Chowdhury and Mosleh Uddin, alias Muslim Uddin.
Of them, Shariful Haque Dalim was given the title of Bir Uttam, Nur Chowdhury Bir Bikram and Rashed Chowdhury and Mosleh Uddin were each conferred the title of Bir Pratik for their heroism in the war of liberation.
The court asked the cabinet secretary and the secretary to liberation war affairs to carry out the order.
It also issued a rule asking the government in four weeks why the latter's inaction in cancelling the titles of the four would not be declared illegal. This order will remain in force until the rule is settled.
Petitioner lawyer Subir Nandi Das confirmed the matter of the court order.
Advocate AK Khan filed the petition on 2 December on behalf of Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das.
The petition sought cancellation of the state gallantry awards of Bangabandhu's killers Shariful Haque Dalim, SHMB Nur Chowdhury, AM Rashed Chowdhury and Mosleh Uddin, alias Muslim Uddin.
Besides, the government's inaction in cancelling the title was also challenged.
According to the petition, in 1973, the government conferred the titles of Bir Shrestha on seven war heroes, Bir Uttam on 68, Bir Bikram on 175 and Bir Pratik on 426 for their contributions to the war of liberation. Among them were the names of the four killers.
The gazette was also issued on 15 December of the same year.
The petition further said the titles of the four who killed the Father of the Nation have not been revoked yet. There are instances of cancellation of titles in different countries of the world in such situations.
Secretary to the liberation war affairs and cabinet secretary were made defendants in the petition.
Instructions were sought why the defendants' inaction would not be invalid when it comes to withdrawing the titles of the four convicts and the fugitives who killed the Father of the Nation.