Republic of Bangladesh and Constitution

As a citizen of people’s republic of Bangladesh, we all have some fundamental rights which is granted by constitution. Those rights ensure us some important fundamental rights such as right of speech, movement, assembly association, profession, religion, property protection. Those rights also ensure equality on the ground of religion, public employment, protection of law, safe guards as to arrest and detention and protection in respect of trial and punishment. These rights are known as basic human rights of all Bangladeshi citizen applied irrespective of religion, race, cast etc.

One of most important fundamental rights are Protection in respect of trial and punishment which is described in part 3 article 35 in constitution of Bangladesh. The description of article 35 is, (1) No person shall be convicted of any offence except for violation of a law in force at the time of the commission of the act charged as an offence, nor be subjected to a penalty greater than, or different from, that which might have been inflicted under the law in force at the time of the commission of the offence.

With this article constitution of Bangladesh assured protection of trial to its citizen. But the major question is dose all of the rights which are described in this article are really being followed by executive body of Bangladesh. Many times, this article was violated by executive body of Bangladesh government like extra judicial killing, remand, arresting without warrant all of this are clear violation of article 33.

In Bangladesh there is qustion against the police of using torture and lethal force on prisoner when they are in custody. We commonly hear rumors of physical and psychological torture, the so called “water treatment,” “shock treatment” and “egg treatment. in very simple terms, a remand is another name for an adjournment of a case. However, the criminal justice system knows the remand as having a particular meaning. When a case is adjourned, the court may have the power or duty to remand the accused in police custody or in jail, rather than simply adjourn the case to another day.

It would be accurate to say that while all remands are adjournment, not all adjournments are remands. The difference between ‘remanding’ a defendant and simply ‘adjourning’ the case is that when the court remands a defendant, it is under a duty to decide whether the defendant should be released on bail or kept in police custody or in jail custody. Thus remanding the defendant may be of three types: remand on bail, remand in police custody, and remand in prison custody or jail. As mentioned above, remanding means committing the defendant into the custody or placing him on bail. The most objectionable remand in Bangladesh is remanding on police custody since police uses unlawful torture on the defendant on the pretext of extracting information from the accused.

Ultimately, the widespread discretionary power of the police to arrest any individual suspected of committing an offence and this power coupled with the threat of torture while in ‘remand’ has resulted in a ‘racket’ of corrupt police officials, extorting money from families of unfortunate victims.

If one looks at the law, it is difficult to find any legal basis for this torture in the name of remand. Custodial torture and death run counter to the high ideals on which this nation is founded. Article 35(5) of the Constitution gives protection to every person from being subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment. In 2003, the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in a landmark judgment (Blast v Bangladesh and Others) held that the provision of the Criminal Procedure code (sections 54 and 167) which gives the police widespread authority to arrest individuals and thereafter carry out torture in police custody in the name of remand is against the constitution.

The court stressed that there ought to be detailed guidelines on how to conduct an interrogation of a detainee in police custody. The court further held that failure to observe those guidelines should result in criminal charges being filed against those officers responsible for unlawful conduct. Moreover, the victim of torture is entitled to compensation for his suffering. Unfortunately, 10 years after the deliberation of the Supreme Court, the government has made no necessary amendment to the law.