Mr. Mahmudul Islam was born in Rangpur on 24th July 1936. His father Mr. Azizul Islam was one of the prominent lawyers of Rangpur district at that time. His mother was Mrs. Jahanara Islam. Mr. Islam passed his Higher Secondary level from Rangpur Carmichael College. He completed his B.A in 1955 from Rangpur Carmichael College and later he completed Masters on Political Science from the Dhaka University, in the year 1957. He achieved his Law Degree from the same university, in the year 1959. In 1980 he received his LLM degree from Indiana University in the US.
Following his father’s footsteps, Mr. Islam also joined Rangpur District Bar, from where he started his career in the year 1961. Besides working with his father, Mr. Islam had the privilege of working as a Junior with prominent lawyers of Rangpur Bar such as Bijoy Chandra Moitor, Shital Rai Chowdhury and Shibandronath Mukhpadhai. He was enrolled as an Advocate of the then High Court at Dhaka in 1967 and started practice in the High Court Division. He had the privilege of working as a Junior with renowned lawyer Birendra Nath Chowdhury. He also worked as an Associate of the legendary lawyer Mr. Syed Ishtiaq Ahmed. Mr. Islam was enrolled as an Advocate of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh in 1972. He worked as a Special Prosecutor relating to War Crimes from April 1972 to December 1973. He also worked as an Assistant Attorney General from 1972 to 1976. He was granted the status of Senior Advocate in the year 1995. He was appointed the Attorney General for Bangladesh in 1998, and served till 2001. The aura surrounding Mr. Islam drew love, respect and attention of his colleagues, juniors and Judges. His submissions and research skills in his work yielded effective and practical results in all the cases he worked on. For his entire life he fought for ensuring justice and rights of the citizen under the constitution and other legal frameworks.
Mr. Mahmudul Islam was recognized as the pole-star of our judicial system and he handled all circumstance with his extraordinary brilliance. Courage and boldness to stand up for his beliefs, regardless of the consequences, was one of the very traits possessed by this exceptional individual, which in turn gave others hope in trying times. He led the nation in various critical periods into the right course and he became the voice of the nation.
Mahmudul Islam was the first lawyer in Bangladesh to write a substantial research based book on the Constitution, proving himself the most talented constitutional jurist in the country. His book titled the ‘Constitutional Law of Bangladesh’ is the most cited constitutional law book in our jurisdiction. The book itself has now become an authority on our constitution. His analysis on constitutional affair was very blunt and concise, reflecting his intelligence in an outspoken manner. Moreover, he introduced another branch of his legal acumen on civil procedure with co-author Mr. Probir Neogi, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. Two volumes of their books on the ‘Law of Civil Procedure’ is another treasured creation by the geniusof Mr. Mahmudul Islam. Mr. Islam’s book on Interpretation of Statutes and Documents was his latest addition to his scholarly contribution to our legal system. Furthermore, he was founding Editor of the law journal ‘Bangladesh Legal Decisions’ (B.L.D) published by Bangladesh Bar Council, during the years 1981-1982. This eminent jurist had his own style of interpretation. His sentences are lively and citations are precisely on the point. In many occasions the Supreme Court sought his opinion as an Amicus Curiae in significant cases like that of 8th Amendment Case, 13th Amendment Case, President’s Reference relating BDR Mutiny, Dr. Nurul Islam’s Case, etc.
The former Attorney General died at the age of 79 on 15.2.2016, Monday night, at a Dhaka hospital after suffering from geriatric diseases. He has left behind his wife, two sons (who are both engineers and residing at Canada), a grandson and a granddaughter. He was buried at Rangpur. His death caused an irreparable loss to the nation as he was among the most talented constitutional jurist in the country.