The High Court on Sunday issued a rule upon the government to explain why the Joint Drives Indemnity Act 2003 legitimising Operation Clean Heart should not be declared unconstitutional and illegal.
As per the court direction, the government will have to come up with a reply in six weeks.
Joint drives led by army had run Operation Clean Heart from October 16, 2002 to January 9, 2003 across the country to keep the law and order situation under control. Around 50 people were reportedly killed in the operation.
The BNP-led 4-party alliance government issued a gazette notification on February 24, 2003 to legalise the Joint Drives Indemnity Act 2003 legitimising Operation Clean Heart.
According to the indemnity act, nobody can challenge the action of joint forces under Operation Clean Heart.
Advocate ZI Khan Panna, an executive member of Bangladesh Bar Council, on July 14 this year filed a writ petition challenging the legality of the indemnity act.
In the petition, he claimed that the law which legitimised the Operation Clean Heart is against the fundamental rights of people.
After hearing the petition, the HC bench of Justice Mirza Hussain Haider and Justice Kazi Md Ejarul Hoque Akond (Sagor) also asked the government to explain why it should not be directed to make a fund of Tk 100 crore for compensation of the victims of Operation Clean Heart.
Secretaries to the ministries of law, home and defence, commander-in-chief of Armed Forces Division and inspector general of police have been made respondent to the rule.