Suppression of Terrorist Offences Act,
|Full text of the anti-terrorism Act passed by the Bangladesh parliament in November 1992. The Act defines terrorism and provides for institutional mechanism to deal with it.|
An Act to provide for the suppression of terrorist offences
Whereas it is expedient to provide for the suppression of terrorist offences;
Now, therefore, it is enacted as follows: -
1. Short title and commencement. - (1) This Act may be called the Suppression of Terrorist Offences Act, 1992.
(2) This Act shall come into force at once and it shall have effect for a period of two years unless such period is extended by Parliament. Notwithstanding the expiry of the period of this Act, any action done or any measure taken under this Act shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act.
2. Definitions. - Unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context, in this Act-
(1) "Tribunal" means the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal established under section 8;
(2) "Terrorist offence" means-
a)by holding out any kind of threat or applying any kind of illegal force-
i) to collect or acquire from any person or institution money or property as contributions, assistance or by whatever other name it may be called-
ii) to obstruct or impede the traffic by land, on railroads, by water or on air routes, or to alter the course of any vehicle against the wishes of the conductor of the vehicle-
b) to intentionally damage any vehicle;
c) to intentionally destroy or damage any property, whether movable or immovable, belonging to the Government or any institution under the control of the Government, or to any institute, authority or institution founded, established or created under the law, or to any company, firm or private non-governmental organization, any embassy or foreign institute or institution, or any person;
d) to steal or seize by force from any person any money, jewellery, valuable article or any other article or vehicle;
e) to outrage the modesty of, or to molest, any minor or adult woman, including any female child, adolescent and young woman on the streets or ghats, in vehicles, in educational institutions or in the vicinity thereof or in public places;
f) to create, alone or in a group, with or without premeditation, fear, terror, confusion or anarchy by ostentatiously displaying force or power at any place, in any building, shop, market and bazar, on any street or ghat, in any vehicle or in any institution;
g) to obstruct or impede by use of force the buying, accepting or entering of bills of sale by any institution or to illegally compel anybody to accept bills of sale;
(3) "Code of Criminal Procedure" means the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (Act V of 1898).
3. Act to override other laws.- The provisions of this Act shall have effect, notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law for the time being in force.
4. Punishments for terrorist offences.- Whoever commits a terrorist offence shall be punishable with capital punishment or life imprisonment or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not exceed twenty years and not be less than five years, and shall also be liable to fine. Besides this, a Tribunal or the High Court Division may, in appropriate cases, in addition to the above-mentioned punishments, order the culprit to pay compensation to the injured person or institution.
5. Punishments for abatement of offences.- Whoever abets the commission of a terrorist offence shall be punishable with the punishments provided for in section 4.
6. Provision regarding materials used or money collected in committing an offence.- A Tribunal may, if it thinks fit so to do, order any materials used or money collected in committing an offence to be confiscated in favour of the Government or to be given back to the legal owner or possessor.
7. Trial of (terrorist) offences.- Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law, offences under this Act are to be tried only by the Tribunals established under section 8.
8. Establishment of Suppression of Terrorist Offences Tribunals.- (1) The Government may, for the purposes of this Act, establish, by notification in the official Gazette, in every Zila one or more Tribunals, which shall be called Suppression of Terrorist Offences Tribunals.
(2) There shall be one judge to each Tribunal and only a sitting or retired sessions judge or additional sessions judge shall be qualified to be a judge at such Tribunal.
(3) The judge of a Tribunal shall be appointed by the Government.
(4) The Government may, if necessary, appoint any sessions judge or additional sessions judge to any Tribunal beyond his jurisdiction.
(5) If more than one Tribunal is established in any Zila, the Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, determine the area of each Tribunal.
(6) Every Tribunal shall be situated in the headquarters of the Zila, but it may, on directions from the Government, conduct trials at any other place.
9. Jurisdiction of the Tribunal.- (1) No Tribunal shall take cognizance of an offence without a report in writing from a police officer not below the rank of an Inspector, or a person authorized, generally or in particular, in this behalf by the Government.
(2) If any other offence is connected with an offence under this Act in such way that it is necessary, in the interest of justice, to try both offences jointly or in one trial, such other offence and the offence under this Act shall be tried by the Tribunal jointly or in one trial.
(3) The proceedings required for a trial of an offence under this Act shall be taken by the Tribunal in the area of which such offence, or a part of it, has been committed, or by the Tribunal in the area of which the accused person or, in the case of there being more than one accused persons, any of the accused persons has been traced.
(4) A Tribunal may, if it thinks fit so to do, order any police officer or person referred to in sub-section (1) to make further investigations of an offence relating to any case pending before the Tribunal, and it may determine in the order the period, not exceeding fifteen days, within which the report of the investigation shall be produced.
Explanation.- The period referred to in the order under this section to make further investigations shall be included in the period referred to in sub-section (3) of section 15.
(5) A Tribunal may award the punishments prescribed for offences under this Act as well as the punishments prescribed for the offences referred to in sub-section (2).
10. Procedure of trials.- (1) A Tribunal shall, when trying and deciding a case, follow the procedures prescribed by the Code of Criminal Procedure for the trial and decision of a case by a Sessions Court.
(2) A case brought up for trial before a Tribunal shall be conducted until its conclusion without any interruption from day to day, but a Tribunal may, if satisfied that it is, in the interest of justice, necessary to adjourn a trial, adjourn, after having recorded its reasons, a trial for a short period, which shall, however, under no circumstances exceed seven days.
(3) Where the Judge of a Tribunal has been transferred, the Judge succeeding him in office shall, if his predecessor has left the trial of any case, continue such trial from the stage at which it had been left, and if his predecessor has taken the testimony of a witness, such witness shall not be required to give his testimony again.
11. Trial in the absence of the accused.- (1) If a Tribunal has sufficient reason to believe that-
a) an accused person has absconded or is concealing himself in order to avoid being arrested or committed for trial, and
b) if there is no possibility of his imminent arrest,
it may, by an order published in at least two Bengali daily newspapers, order the accused person to appear before the Tribunal within the period specified in the order, and may, if the accused person fails to appear before the Tribunal within such period, conduct the trial in his absence.
(2) The provision of sub-section (1) shall not apply in the case of an accused person who absconds after appearing before a Tribunal or a Court, or after being produced before a Tribunal, and a Tribunal may, in such case, after recording reasons, conclude the trial against the accused person in the latter's absence.
12. Power of a Magistrate to take depositions.- (1) Where a police officer or any other person investigating an offence under this Act is of the opinion that it is necessary, in the interest of a prompt trial of the offence, to have, without any delay, a Magistrate take down in writing the deposition of a person who is well-informed about the occurrence, he may request, in written form, a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or, as the case may be, a Zila Magistrate or any First Class Magistrate authorized in this behalf by the Government to take down in writing the deposition of such person.
(2) A Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or a Zila Magistrate shall, on receipt of a request under sub-section (2), without any delay, direct a Metropolitain Magistrate or, as the case may be, a First Class Magistrate to take the deposition of such person.
(3) The Magistrate who has received a direction under sub-section (2) or the Magistrate who has been authorized by the Government as mentioned in sub-section (1) shall take the deposition of the said person at the place of the occurrence or at any other appropriate place, and shall send the deposition thus taken to the police officer or person investigating the offence for being included in the report of the investigation.
(4) If, during the trial by a Tribunal of a person accused of an offence referred to in sub-section (1), it turns out that it is necessary to take the testimony of a person who made a deposition under sub-section (3), but such person has died, or is unable to give his testimony, or does not, in spite of being summoned, appear at the Tribunal, or cannot be traced, or cannot be produced at the tribunal without making efforts which involve such delays, expenditures or inconveniences as to make it undesirable under the circumstances so to do, the Tribunal may accept his deposition as a testimony in the trial.
13. Appeal and approval of death sentences.- (1) Any person aggrieved may, in accordance with the the provisions of section 410 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, submit to the High Court Division an appeal against any sentence passed by the Tribunal within thirty days after the date on which the sentence has been passed.
(2) A Tribunal which has passed a death sentence shall, in accordance with the provisions of section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, send without any delay the records of the proceeding to the High Court Division, and no death sentence shall be executed without the confirmation of such Division.
14. Offences to be cognizable and non-bailable.- (1) Offences under this Act shall be cognizable.
(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, no Magistrate or Tribunal nor any other Court may, at the stage of the investigations, order to release on bail any person accused of having committed an offence under this Act.
15. Code of Criminal Procedure to apply.- (1) Unless there is anything to the contrary contained in this Act, the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure shall apply in the case of instituting charges in connection with, investigating, trying, and in all other matters relating to, offences under this Act, and a Tribunal shall be deemed to be a Sessions Court.
(2) The investigation of an offence under this Act shall be concluded within thirty days after the date on which a statement about it has been received by the police:
Provided that an investigation which for any unavoidable reason cannot be concluded within such period shall, with the approval of the Tribunal, be concluded within an additional period of fifteen days.
(3) A Tribunal shall conclude the trial of any case within sixty days after the date on which the case came up for trial:
Provided that a Tribunal shall, if for any compelling reason a trial cannot be concluded within such period, conclude such trial, after recording such reason, within an additional period of thirty days.
16. Repeal and savings.- (1) The Suppression of Terrorist Offences Ordinance, 1992 (Ordinance No.7, 1992) stands hereby repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding such repeal, any action done or any measure taken under the repealed Ordinance shall be deemed to have been done or taken under this Act.