The High Court on Wednesday scrapped the convictions and jail sentences given to children by mobile courts across the country.
The bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder also declared illegal the convictions of 121 minors who are now at correction centres.
The High Court bench delivered the verdict after hearing a suo moto rule issued by the court on October 31, 2019. Lawyer Abdul Halim brought the matter to the court's attention.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Deputy Attorney Bipil Bagmar stood for the state while lawyers Abdul Halim and Ishrat Hasan represented the children at court.
The court also directed the concerned authorities of the government to immediately release the children sentenced by mobile courts from correction centres or jails.
As per the laws, mobile courts can never sentence children. So the court declared sentencing the 121 minors on different charges as inhuman, unconstitutional and a violation of human rights.
After the verdict, lawyer Abdul Halim told reporters that only juvenile courts can sentence children. No other court under any circumstance can convict children.
The court gave an order to submit the details of the officials who sentenced the 121 children through mobile courts, to the court within seven working days. It also sought all case documents of the convicted minors from the home ministry during the same timeframe.
On October 31 last year, the High Court ordered the release of children who were less than 12 years old and who were sentenced by mobile courts. At the same time, the court granted six-month bail to children aged between 12 and 18, who were not sentenced by juvenile courts.