Bilkis Akter Hossain v. Government of Bangladesh, (1997) 17 BLD (HCD) 344 / 2 MLR 1997 113

Summary of the Case:Case Law


In 1997 four BNP leaders were arrested and detained. Dr. Khandakar Musharraf Hossain was one of them. He was detained, on the ground of delivering provocative speech, under the Special Powers Act, 1974. He was alleged to be a leader of the terrorists and also a provocateur and instigator of their terrorist acts.

Mrs. Bilkis Akter Hossain, wife of Dr. Khandakar filed a writ petition in the High Court Division against the detention under Article 102 of the Constitution, claiming that his husband’s fundamental rights, namely Right to freedom of movement, Right to life and Right to liberty have been violated.


The court held that the detention was illegal and also held that there was a non-application of mind in giving the detention order. And in this case along with three other similar petitions, detention of four political leaders was held malafide and illegal. For the first time, the court awarded compensation of one lakh taka to each detenues. The Court opined that to detain a person without due adhering to due course of law is a violation of the fundamental rights ensure by our constitution. And any citizen so aggrieved can, under Article 44 if read with 102, come before the High Court to seek redress.

After considering facts and materials of the case the Court found out that the grounds of the detention order was invalid, without lawful authority and politically motivated. During the detention, the detenu suffered irreparable damage in his dignity and political image while also suffering physically and mentally. In addition, he and his family had to bear the litigation cost to fight against this illegal order. So for the first time the court ordered compensation to be paid to the petitioner for an illegal detention order.

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