The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has commuted the death penalties of three convicts to imprisonment till death in the Gopal Krishna Muhuri murder case of Chattogram.
The three-member Appellate Division virtual court, headed by Senior Justice Iman Ali, announced the verdict on Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General Amit Das told The Business Standard.
The three accused are Taslim Uddin alias Montu, Azam, and Alamgir Kabir alias "Baitta" Alamgir. Senior lawyer Khandaker Mahbub Hossain and advocate Helal Uddin Mollah appeared for the accused in the court.
Gopal Krishna Muhuri, the principal of Nazirhat College, was shot dead at his home in the Jamal Khan area of Chattogram on 17 November, 2001 at around 7am.
His wife, former railway audit officer Uma Muhuri, filed a murder case at the Kotwali police station in this regard. At the end of the investigation, charge-sheets were filed against 12 accused.
In January 2003, the case was referred from the Chittagong Metropolitan Magistrate's Court to the Chittagong Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal.
On February 8 of the same year, the speedy trial tribunal sentenced four accused to death, four were sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Tk50,000, and acquitted the other four.
The four convicts sentenced to death by the Judicial Court are Nasir alias "Gittu" Nasir, Azam, Alamgir Kabir alias "Baitta" Alamgir and Taslim Uddin Montu.
The accused sentenced to life imprisonment are Saiful Islam alias Saiful, Md Shahjahan, Mohiuddin alias Mohin Uddin (fugitive) and Habib Khan (fugitive).
The four acquitted in the case are Professor Md Idris Mia Chowdhury, Professor Md Zahurul Haque, Professor Tafazzal Ahmed and Chhatra Shibir cadre Nasir.
The documents, including the verdict of the judicial court, reached the High Court in the same year for approval of the death sentence of the accused, which was registered as a Death Reference.
The convicts in jail then appealed to the High Court, while the plaintiff appealed against the acquittal of the four.
After hearing the death reference and the appeal, the High Court gave its verdict in July 2006. The verdict upheld the death sentence on three death row convicts. In March 2005, Gittu Nasir, who was sentenced to death, was killed in crossfire by the RAB.
Saiful and Shahjahan, two convicts sentenced to life, were acquitted by the High Court. Saiful was shot dead by miscreants at his home in June 2004.
No information was available on the appeal of the fugitives Mohiuddin alias Mohin Uddin and Habib Khan, who were sentenced to life imprisonment. The appeal filed by Muhuri's wife against the acquittal of the four was rejected by the High Court.
Among the three convicts sentenced to death by the High Court, Baitta Alamgir appealed to the Appellate Division in 2008. The other two, Taslim Uddin Montu and Azam, filed a petition in 2006. The Appellate Division dismissed these appeals on Tuesday.