Stripping ex-army chief Mustafizur Rahman of rank illegal: HC

The High Court Tuesday ruled that stripping of former army chief Mustafizur Rahman of the rank of general was illegal.

bdnews24.com
Published : 19 Feb 2008, 07:35 AM
Updated : 19 Feb 2008, 07:35 AM
Dhaka, Feb 19 (bdnews24.com)—The High Court Tuesday ruled that stripping of former army chief Mustafizur Rahman of the rank of general was illegal.
A High Court bench of Justices ABM Khairul Haque and Abdul Awal delivered the verdict after the final hearing on a writ petition filed by Mustafizur.
The High Court in its verdict said that the stripping of the title after four years of his getting the rank was ill-motivated, without legal authority and illegal.
So his rank of general is upheld, the rule declared.
The court also said that the allegation of getting promotion by influencing the government brought against Mustafizur was not proved.
He was promoted to the rank of general from lieutenant general after approval by the President, the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Defence, it said.
Mustafizur was happy with the verdict.
"Old soldiers never die. By stripping me of the rank, an attempt was made to make the army controversial. But it was not right," he said.
"The High Court verdict proved the justification of elevating me to the rank."
Mustafizur was promoted to the rank of general on Dec 23, 2000. The defence ministry on Oct 10, 2004 cancelled the promotion order.
He filed a writ petition before the High Court on Nov 6, 2004 challenging the validity of the Oct 10, 2004 order.
The High Court suspended the defence ministry order on the day. Besides, the High Court issued a rule nisi on the government asking it to show cause as to why the order cancelling his promotion would not be declared illegal.
Mustafizur was appointed army chief for three years on Dec 17, 1997.
Senior advocate Abdul Baset Majumder and advocate Saeed Ahmed Raja stood on behalf of Mustafizur while deputy attorney general Naima Haider represented the government.
After the verdict, Mustafizur's lawyers Saeed Ahmed Raja told journalists that the High Court had declared stripping Mustafizur of his rank illegal. The verdict had reinstated his rank, they added.
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher