The High Court on Sunday asked the authorities concerned to explain as to why the notification fixing 12 years and six months as of November 30, 1971 as the minimum age to be eligible for earning the status of a freedom fighter should not be declared illegal.
A bench of Justice Mainul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Director of Geological Survey of Bangladesh Mahmud Hassan challenging the notification issued on January 17 last.
The court also sought explanation as to why the letter sending Mahmud Hassan on Post-Retirement Leave (PRL) as per the new notification should not be declared illegal, and stayed the letter for six months.
The respondents, including Liberation War Affairs Ministry, secretaries to Liberation War Affairs, Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministries and Finance Division, Directors General of Jatiya Muktijoddha Command Council and Geological Survey of Bangladesh, were asked to reply to the rule within four weeks.
Earlier in 2016, a gazette was issued fixing 13 years as of March 26, 1971 as the minimum age required for enrolling as a freedom fighter.
Later on January 17 last, the gazette was amended through a notification setting 12 years and six months as of November 30, 1971 as the minimum age requirement.
Mahmud Hassan joined the government service on the freedom fighter quota. As per the new notification, his age was 12 years, four months and 12 days on November 30, 1971.
As per the Public Servants (Retirement) Act 1974, Mahmud should get the chance to work till 60 years, said his lawyer Advocate Altaf Hossain. “But due to fixing the minimum age required for being eligible to be a freedom fighter, Mahmud is being deprived of the chance.”