Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper

HC hearing on Shahidul's bail plea Sunday

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Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) may hear the bail petition of imprisoned renowned photographer Shahidul Alam next Sunday.
The bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman said on Wednesday that the bail plea will be included in the cause-list on Sunday.
The bench did not hear the petition yesterday as it was not in the cause-list, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, a lawyer for Shahidul told the reporters.
Shahidul Alam on Tuesday filed the petition with the High Court seeking bail  in a case filed under controversial ICT Act on charge of "spreading propaganda against the government".
He submitted the petition by his lawyer saying that he would not leave the country if he has granted bail in the case.
In the petition, he also said, the Section 57 of the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Act does not cover the allegations brought against him in the case. He prayed to the High Court to grant him bail citing his illness.
Earlier on September 10, the High Court bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman ordered the lower court concerned to dispose of Shahidul Alam's bail petition by September 11.
Following the HC order, on September 11, the trial court rejected the bail petition of Shahidul in the same case filed with Ramna Police Station on August 5.
Then Shahidul's lawyer moved to the HC and filed the petition on Tuesday.
Shahidul Alam, 63, is now in Dhaka Central Jail in the case lodged under the controversial Section 57 of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
Police charged him with "spreading propaganda and false information against the government" during the student protest for safer road.
He was picked up by plainclothes men from his home in the capital's Dhanmondi on August 5.
Police filed the case and produced him in a Dhaka court the following day. He was then placed on a seven-day remand.
According to the case statement, Shahidul in a Facebook live video said: "The present AL [Awami League] government is non-elected and so [it] does not have any mandate to continue. Bank looting is conducted by the people in power and their associates. Extra-judicial killing is conducted every now and then."
The case statement also said, "Personally he believes that without the Caretaker Government no free, fair and neutral election is possible in Bangladesh. So, the present government must be overthrown."
In the court, Shahidul said, he was tortured in custody. Police, however, denied the allegation.
On completion of his seven-day remand, Shahidul was denied bail and sent to jail by a Dhaka court on August 12.
On September 4, a HC bench felt "embarrassed" to hear Shahidul's bail petition in the case. The same day, the bench forwarded the petition to the Chief Justice for a decision. The bench, however, did not disclose any reason for the move.
Many notable personalities, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and 11 other Nobel award winners have called for immediate release of Shahidul.

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