The High Court has raised questions about the legality of the death penalty in the absence of a clear policy framework in light of Bangladesh's commitments under international law.
The bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md Atabullah issued a rule on Tuesday, asking why policy guidelines on the matter have not been developed yet.
The secretary of the law ministry's Law and Justice Division, the secretary of the Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs Division, and the registrar general of the Supreme Court have been asked to respond.
The rule was issued in response to a writ petition filed on Dec 7, questioning the constitutional validity of the death penalty.
Advocate Ishrat Hassan brought the writ petition before the court, while Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy and Assistant Attorney General Salim Azad represented the state.
Ishrat cited the abolition of the death penalty in 112 countries and argued that it be declared unconstitutional in Bangladesh.
Many developed countries, along with neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal, have abolished capital punishment, Ishrat said, adding that Bangladesh was a signatory to an international law banning the death penalty.
The writ petition further contends that the provisions for capital punishment under Bangladesh's Penal Code contradict Articles 32 and 35 of the country's Constitution.