The High Court (HC) yesterday issued a rule asking the government to explain within four weeks why releasing the final list of freedom fighters without determining the definition of the freedom fighter should not be declared as illegal.
In response to a writ petition, a vacation bench of the HC, comprising Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Khijir Ahmed, also asked the government to explain in four weeks why it should not be directed to determine the definition of the freedom fighter before finalising the list.
Secretaries to the Liberation War affairs ministry and the law and public administration ministry have been asked to reply to the rule within four weeks.
On Monday, a group of freedom fighters, including one SM Sohrab Hossain, had filed the writ petition with the High Court. They sought an HC directive upon the government to determine the definition of freedom fighters.
Advocate Hasnet Kaium, one of the counsels for the petitioners, told reporters that several governments have published several lists of freedom fighters over the years without fixing the definition of the freedom fighter. Hence, the names of some original freedom fighters were excluded and those of some fake freedom fighters were included in such lists, he added.
He also said that the petitioners have filed the petition following a move made by the Ministry of Liberation Affairs for publishing a final list of freedom fighters without determining “who can be called a freedom fighter”.
The petitioners only want to prevent the government from publishing the freedom fighters’ list before determining the definition of the freedom fighter, he added.
SM Sohrab Hossain alleged that several freedom fighters were excluded from all freedom fighters’ lists and fake freedom fighters were also included in those lists. He attributed the confusion to the authorities’ reluctance to provide a definition for the freedom fighter.
Barrister Rafiqur Rahman appeared for the petitioners, while deputy attorney general Al Amin represented the state during the hearing on the petition.