POST TIME: 23 October, 2017 12:54:49 AM
HC stresses role of parents
preventing children from criminal activities

HC stresses role of parents

In a full verdict, the High Court (HC) has said that parents or guardians are the only teachers of their children at the beginning of their wards’ early lives. “Parents should encourage their children to read different books as it can prevent them from going on to the wrong path. Children can be prevented from heading down the wrong path only by getting them involved in a good environment and also a good family atmosphere,” the HC bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim and Justice M Jahangir Hossain observed in the full text of the verdict that commuted the death sentence of Oishee Rahman to life imprisonment in a sensational case. The case was filed in connection with the killing of her parents—Mahfuzur Rahman, a police officer, and Swapna Rahman—in 2013.

The 78-page verdict, which was released yesterday after the two judges signed the verdict copy, also said, “The amount of time the parents spend with their children or get involved in domestic chores is not very significant for the betterment of the children. They have to spend enough time on their children and ensure a good environment in their early lives so that children can approach the good things for their future lives.”

Following the release of the verdict, Oishee can move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) against the HC verdict.

Earlier, on June 5, the HC judges had commuted her death penalty to life imprisonment, considering five “extenuating circumstances”, including her mental condition and her age when she killed her parents.

The HC, however, did not specify how long she would have to serve in custody.

In its verdict, the HC bench observed that from the family history of the condemned prisoner, it was found that her father was a police officer and her mother was working in Destiny (a private business organisation), which indicated that her parents were busy with their livelihoods. It was also evident in the case that in her early life, sufficient care was not taken by her parents, although they did realise this at a later stage when her life had already been ruined by addiction and other such vices.

It observed, “The execution is not only an exemplary punishment alone that can erase the crime from the society

forever. Lesser punishments may significantly prevent or reduce the crimes from the society, depending on good governance and the awareness of the people.”

 “To consider the lesser punishment from death sentence to life imprisonment, mitigating evidence or circumstances must be stronger than that of the aggravating evidence produced by the prosecution,” the HC observed.

“In this case, we find the following circumstances outweigh the aggravating circumstances: The condemned prisoner committed a double murder without any apparent motive and was suffering from mental derailment or some sort of mental disorder and was also suffering from ovarian cyst and bronchial asthma.”

According to the document, “her paternal grandmother and maternal uncle had a history of psychiatric disorders”. “She was around 19 years old at the relevant time and the occurrence took place just immediately after her attaining the majority; she has no significant history of prior criminal activity (criminal cases) and she had willingly surrendered to the police station soon, two days after the occurrence,” according to the copy of the verdict.

“Given the above facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view that the ends of justice would be met if the accused, Oishee Rahman, is sentenced to one of imprisonment for life instead of awarding her the sentence of death, with a fine of Tk. 5,000,” the verdict said.

On November 12, 2015, a trial court sentenced Oishee to death for killing her parents. She later challenged the lower court verdict.

The bodies of Mahfuzur, inspector of the Special Branch of police, and his wife Swapna Rahman were recovered from their Chamelibagh house in the capital on August 16, 2013.

On March 9, 2014, the police pressed charges against Oishee, her friends Johnny and Ronny, and 11-year-old domestic help Sumi.

According to the charge-sheet, Oishee alone killed her parents, Johnny instigated the murders and Ronny sheltered her after the incident. Sumi was accused of assisting Oishee in hiding the bodies.