Freedom fighter to get all dues after 40 years of waiting

Akon was sacked by a military court in 1982, during Ershad’s reign, over allegations of government selling jute seeds for Tk2.5 more than the set price per kg

Md Obaidul Alam Akon, a freedom fighter who was wrongly sacked from the Agricultural Extension Department (DAE) in 1982, was finally acquitted on Monday after waging a long legal battle for his rights.

A six-member appeals division virtual bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain dismissed a state plea seeking review of its order which upheld a High Court order, declaring the court’s sentence member of the military at the time outside legal jurisdiction and ordering the DAE to pay Akon his fees.

“The authorities concerned will now have to pay Akon his due salary and other benefits related to his previous post from 1982, the year he lost his job, until the date of his retirement,” the lawyer said. Akon, Prabir Niyogi.

The valiant freedom fighter, 68, was elated after the Supreme Court’s order and said he didn’t expect this legal battle to end in his lifetime.

Akon was sacked by a military court in 1982 on the allegation that he received an additional 2.50 Tk for selling five packets of jute seeds from a farmer.

“They filed a false complaint against me and the military court after a brief hearing, fined me 1,000 Tk and jailed me for two months.

“Later, the DAE also fired me for the crime I never committed,” Akon said.

Md Obaidul Alam Akon, in 2012, filed a summons with the High Court which in 2017 declared the military court sentence illegal and out of jurisdiction and ordered the DAE to pay Akon his dues.

Following the High Court’s order, DAE appealed to the Supreme Court and Appeals Division on March 8, 2020, which also upheld the High Court’s order.

The DAE then filed the appeal for review, which was dismissed on Monday.

Thelma J. Longworth

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