The court directed the government to form an independent enquiry commission to find out the facts behind the 2009 mutiny and killings at the paramilitary force’s Peelkhana headquarters
The High Court has asked the government to take legal actions against intelligence officers for their failure to forecast the 2009 carnage at the border force headquarters that left 74 people, including 57 army officials, killed.
The court directed the government to form an independent enquiry commission to find out the facts behind the mutiny and killings.
In the greater interest of the nation, the government should take steps to unearth the "incident behind the incident", the judges said in the 29,059-page full-judgement of the carnage case made public on Wednesday.
An extended three-member bench of the High Court delivered the verdict on November 27, 2017.
The judges emphatically asked the authorities to close down operations of all programmes, such as "Dal-Bhat programme" run by forces, including Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), to avoid any possibility of discrimination and moral turpitude on the part of the members of different forces arising out of financial transactions.
The court said the authorities have to reconstitute the safety unit of the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), which was later renamed as Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), with skilled and honest members of the force.
It also said the government will have to take action against the members of BGB and other intelligence agencies who were on duty for their failure to collect information on the mutiny.
The court said in the judgement that despite intense discontent among BDR members and the distribution of leaflets in public, the then home minister and BDR officers, including senior political leaders, showed negligence and did not take any initiative to delve into the conspiracy.
The court sounded a note of caution about any similar incidents in the future.
The judges said the government has to take effective measures for ensuring basic education related to human qualities, responsibilities, duties, departmental rules and discipline of all officers.
All military and civil officers must undergo training to avoid the bureaucratic tendency of the British colonial era and to provide people-friendly service with love, the court told the authorities.
The court said the home minister has to resolve all matters relating to the benefit and disadvantage of all personnel of forces under the jurisdiction of the home ministry, including the BGB, with the highest degree of sincerity.
Before any dissatisfaction arises in the forces, the authorities have to find their solutions in a lawful and respectful way.
If there is any underlying discontent among the officers and personnel of forces, the authorities have to deal with it as soon as possible.
The court said the government will have to take all necessary steps to restore the historic image of the border force.
The extended High Court bench in its 2017 verdict confirmed the death penalty for 139 of the 152 accused who had been awarded capital punishment by a lower court for their involvement in the carnage during the mutiny by the paramilitary force members.
The court commuted the death sentences of eight to life imprisonment and acquitted four others while one died during the appeal hearing.
The two-day mutiny beginning on February 25, 2009 left the nation shocked and numb as details of the unprecedented cruelty perpetrated at the Peelkhana headquarters of the paramilitary force emerged.
On November 5, 2013, a Dhaka court awarded death sentences to 150 BDR members and two civilians, and life imprisonment to 160 others.
It also handed down rigorous imprisonment of different terms - ranging from one year to 14 years - to 256 people, mostly BDR soldiers. It acquitted the remaining 278, but the government later appealed against the acquittal of 69 of them.