The High Court on Tuesday imposed a ban on the sale of firearms used in the 1971 Liberation War.
The court also issued a rule seeking explanation on why the initiative to sell and export such firearms should not be declared illegal, and why immediate directives should not be given to take effective steps for preserving these firearms as a national heritage for the future generation.
Besides, it sought an explanation on why a directive should not be issued for transferring these firearms under the care of the Liberation War Museum or any other organisation under the Ministry of Defence.
A High Court bench of justices MD Mujibur Mia and Mohi Uddin passed the order, asking the secretaries of defence, finance, Liberation War affairs and commerce to respond to the rule within the next four weeks.
On 15 November, Supreme Court Lawyer ZI Khan Panna and Ain o Salish Kendra – a legal aid and human rights organisation – filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking a ban on the sale of firearms which were used during the country's Liberation War.
The writ also sought the preservation of these firearms for future generations.
A news article – published by a national daily on October 5 stating that the government wants to sell firearms of the Liberation War – was also attached with the petition.
The newspaper report stated that two firearms importers from the United States and one from Switzerland are interested in buying those firearms as antique souvenirs.
But according to the Export Policy 2018-21, Bangladesh has no scope of exporting old or new arms as the country follows "everything but arms" policy for export, the report read.
The government currently has 27,662 such firearms, which fall under eight classifications.