Govt yet to reply to HC rule on Chetia’s asylum

February 21, 2009

The government is yet to reply to a rule issued by the High Court on August 23, 2003 regarding United Liberation Front of Asom leader Anup Chetia’s application for asylum.
Anup Chetia and his two associates Laxmi Prasad Goswami and Babul Sharma have been in prison since 1996 being convicted in four cases and they sought political asylum from the Bangladesh government on August 3, 1998.
They sought asylum saying their lives would be at stake as they had been fighting for the independence of the people of Assam. Getting no response from the government, the three renewed their appeals on February 27, 2000, March 13, 2001 and August 14, 2003.
The High Court bench of Justice MA Aziz and Justice Syed Refaat Ahmed on August 23, 2003 asked the government to explain in four weeks why it would not be directed to dispose of the applications for political asylum of Anup Chetia, Laxmi Prasad Goswami and Babul Sharma as early as possible.
Issuing the rule, the court also ordered the government to keep the three inside prison as a measure of safe or protective custody till their appeals for political asylum could be disposed of.
The court passed the order after hearing a writ petition filed by rights organisation Bangladesh Society for Enforcement of Human Rights.
The government has so far neither disposed of the appeals nor filed any reply to the High Court.
Sources in the attorney general’s office told
New Age on Thursday no reply to the rule had been filed as they were yet to get any instruction from the home ministry on the issue.
Although the government is yet to file its reply with the High Court to the rule, the state minister for foreign affairs, Hasan Mahmud, has reportedly told an Indian news
network in the past
week that Dhaka had reached an agreement with India to hand over Anup Chetia.
High officials in the home ministry and
foreign ministry, however, told New Age on Thursday they were not aware of any such move of the government.
As the matter is pending with the High Court, the government should not initiate such a move till the disposal of the case, they observed.

Courtesy of

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