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ICT act change proposal to be tabled in cabinet Monday

Times Report - February 11th, 2013

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said on Sunday the proposal for amending the International Crimes (Tribunals) Act-1973 would be tabled before the cabinet on Monday for its approval.
If the amendment were made, the government would get the right to file an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against any inadequate sentence or order of acquittal pronounced by the International Crimes Tribunal to any accused, Shafique said.
He said the bill will be placed before the parliament after getting the cabinet approval.
The parliament may pass the bill in its current session, he hoped.
The minister was talking to reporters at his Bangladesh Secretariat office on Sunday afternoon.
The tribunal was formed to deal with the war crimes suspects.
After the amendment, the SC will have to dispose of the appeal against any conviction or inadequate sentence or order of acquittal within 90 days from the date of filing of the appeal, the minister said.
The government has taken the initiative to amend the ICT act in the wake of mass movements against the life term imprisonment to Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah in a case filed for crimes against humanity in 1971 Liberation War.
On February 5, the ICT-2 pronounced the verdict.
Hours after the verdict was delivered, people from all walks of life started non-stop demonstrations at Shahbagh intersection, demanding death penalty to Mollah.
On Saturday, State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam said the government would soon bring change in the ICT act to allow appeal against inadequate sentence by war crimes tribunals.
The government plans to amend section 21 (2) of the law, as demanded by people and legal experts, he added.
Meanwhile, some eminent jurists have observed that an amendment to give the government the right to appeal against inadequate sentence or acquittal will not be enough to ensure adequate punishment to the offenders.