Introduce the death penalty for corruption

Bribery is a mental illness which can only be cured by corporal punishment, the High Court has said in the full text of a verdict in a bribery case recommending the introduction of the death penalty for such offences.

Upholding 10 years imprisonment of Dhaka-7 Awami League Legislator Haji Md Salim for amassing illegal wealth worth Tk 14.65 crore, court also ordered him to appear in court of first instance concerned within 30 days.

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The 30-day countdown will begin from the day the trial court receives the copy of the judgment from the HC.

The HC castigated the Anti-Corruption Commission for its failure to take appropriate action against corruption and for its reliance on media coverage.

“We are ashamed of our rank because of some corrupt people who have managed to settle in all sectors disguised as mental illnesses.

“They are powerful, organized and syndicated, therefore, on the basis of gravity, arrogant and protracted perpetrators of corruption, capital punishment could be introduced,” observed the bench of Judge Md Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Judge AKM Zahirul Huq in the 66 page full text of the judgment which was published yesterday.

On the HC’s suggestion to introduce capital punishment for corruption, Justice Minister Anisul Huq told the Daily Star that he could not comment on the matter as he had not yet read the verdict. full.

He also declined to comment on whether Salim can serve as a parliamentary member after the HC verdict.

But ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said Salim was no longer a member of Jatiya Sangsad as per Article (2)(d) of the constitution from the time the HC delivered the verdict. .

In the full text of the judgement, the HC judges said: “We cautiously noted that the commission [ACC] still does not have the ability or the courage to form this kind of belief even though there are thousands of seemingly corrupt people with property and money but hardly on its own initiative unfortunately still depends on media coverage to form his belief to act under sections 26 and 27 of the Ain Anti-Corruption Commission, 2004.

“We wish to see a commission which must be effective and active in discovering the root of all corruption among constitutional office holders and ordinary unconstitutional officials of the republic.”

“We know it will be a difficult and risky task because an honest person can fall prey to a corrupt person, but we have to start somewhere to be a civilized and corruption-free nation,” observed the HC bench.

The HC upheld the lower court judgment that found guilty and sentenced Salim to 10 years in prison in the case filed by the ACC during the military-backed caretaker government in 2007.

ACC lawyer Khurshid said the trial court would send Salim to jail if he surrendered to him.

Salim will have to seek bail from the Supreme Court’s Appeals Division after being jailed in the case, he added.

Salim’s lawyer, Sayed Ahmed Raza, however, said his client would appeal to the Appeals Division to challenge the HC’s verdict.

Salim is ill and therefore he will seek bail from the Magistrate Court after surrendering, he added.

“Disqualification under the constitution to be a member of parliament will depend on the outcome of the appeal. Because the conviction will be challenged in the appellate division. When the conviction is challenged, it [conviction] cannot be called final,” the attorney said.

On March 9 last year, the HC bench delivered the verdict in the case dismissing an appeal by Salim.

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