Neither the state nor the defence have been able to appeal against the High Court (HC) verdict in the Pilkhana carnage case even one and a half months after the 29,059-page full text of the verdict was released.
Appeals are usually filed by attaching a certified copy of the verdict on yellowish folio paper. Neither the defence nor the state have been able to obtain a certified copy of the verdict.
Moreover, lawyers said that a single set of the certified copy of the 29,059-page full text of the verdict will cost nearly Tk9 lakh on that traditional paper.
"Most of the convicts do not have the financial capacity to collect it," said defence lawyer Aminul Islam, who represents more than 400 of them.
The appeal must be filed at the Appellate Division within 90 days of release of the full verdict. But all parties are concerned because that time has already expired in trying to obtain a certified copy, said Aminul.
The High Court published the full text of the verdict on the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) mutiny case on January 8 this year. The verdict confirmed the death penalty on 139, upheld life imprisonment for 185, imprisonment for different periods for 200.
In terms of pages and the convicts involved, the verdict is one of the largest in the world.
Lawyer Aminul said that a single set of a certified copy will cost nearly Tk40,000 if it is printed on normal paper.
"We are working on a logical solution to getting certified copies at a reasonable cost. I hope we will reach to a fair solution soon," said Saifur Rahman, special official at the Supreme Court.
He said that as many as 326 convicts have applied for the High Court certified copy so far.
In the meantime, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told The Business Standard that the Supreme Court should supply the certified copies as soon as possible.
"If any convict is financially unable to bear the expense, the state should provide him with the copy for free," added the attorney general.
On November 27, 2017, the special HC bench pronounced a verdict that confirmed the death sentence on 139 of the 152 convicts who were given capital punishment by a lower court for involvement in the carnage during the mutiny by the paramilitary force members.
The mutiny on February 25-26, 2009 left the nation shocked and numb — as details of the unthinkable cruelty perpetrated at the Pilkhana headquarters of the paramilitary force emerged. The BDR was later renamed the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB).