The Chamber Judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld an order of the High Court that declared illegal the government circulars fixing the minimum age of freedom fighters at 12 and a half years in 1971.
Chamber Judge Md Nuruzzaman did not entertain a petition filed by the government seeking stay on the HC judgment.He, however, referred the government petition to the full bench of the Appellate Division to be heard on June 23.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam appeared for the government while Barrister ABM Altaf Hossain for the writ petitioners.
On May 19 this year, the High Court (HC) declared ‘illegal’ the gazette notifications and circulars determining the minimum age of the freedom fighters.
A division bench comprising Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil passed the order following a writ petition.
The High Court also declared age restriction in definition of ‘Bir Muktijoddha’ under section 11 of Freedom Fighters’ Welfare Trust Act ‘illegal and unconstitutional’.
The court also ordered the authorities to resume payment of freedom fighters’ honorarium, including arrears, to petitioners. They must execute the order within 60 days of receiving a copy of the order.On July 15 last year, the High Court asked the authorities concerned to clarify as to why notification fixing age limit of 12 years and six months for freedom fighters as of November 30, 1971 will not be declared illegal.