Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper
Writ on 'fictitious' cases
Sr Judge issues rule, Junior disagrees on jurisdiction
The High Court (HC) on Tuesday passed split order on a writ petition seeking directive on the government to form a high-powered body to probe the authenticity of cases filed against activists of BNP and other political parties.
The bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal passed the order after concluding hearing on the petition.
The Senior Judge of the bench issued a rule upon the government to explain as to why the filing of fictitious and malafide cases against indefinite number of people should not be declared unlawful authority and as to why the disciplinary action should not be taken against those involved in filing of such cases.
The court, however, said, the investigative officers will be freed to carry out the investigations on the cases.
In an interim order, Justice Myeenul Islam Chowdhury said, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Police Headquarters and Shahbagh Police Station are hereby directed to take steps to examine the fictitious cases filed against the petitioners and others in Dhaka Metropolitan City and submit a report in the HC within 60 days stating the reason of filing such cases.
On the other hand, the Junior Judge of the bench Justice Ashraful Kamal summarily rejected the writ petition saying there was other forum to resolve such issues. Such things should go to a bench dealing with criminal cases, but not to a bench dealing with writ petitions, he said.
Justice Ashraful Kamal also observed that the cases could not be called 'fictitious' based on newspaper reports, rather they should be investigated properly.
As per the provision, now the split orders would be sent to the Chief Justice for his decision. After receiving the copy of the split order, the Chief Justice will assign another bench for final disposal of the petition, lawyers concerned opined.
On September 22, three pro-BNP lawyers filed the writ petition with the HC seeking its directive to the government to form a high-powered committee to inquire into the authenticity of the cases against opposition leaders and activists.
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Advocate Nitai Roy Chowdhury and Advocate Sanaullah Mia collectively submitted the petition, saying that 4000 fictitious and malafide cases were filed across the country in September against three lakh leaders and activists of opposition political parties, including the BNP.
The cases were filed to create panic among opposition party men and to put pressure on them ahead of the Parliamentary elections, the lawyers, accused in some of the cases, said in the petition.
Dr Kamal Hossain, Barrister Moudud Ahmed and Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain appeared for the writ petitioners, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Deputy Attorney General Ekramul Haque Tutul stood for the State. Dr Kamal said in his submission, the nature of these cases is identical, the charges are unclear, and the seizure lists are also the same.
He said, "Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain was the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association and also a senior lawyer. He has been even charged with throwing cocktail on police."
"Such cases have been filed with political vendetta which is Contrary to the fundamental rights of the Constitution," Dr Kamal also said.
Attorney General said in his submission, "It will be proved in the investigations whether the cases are malafide or fictitious. You cannot say any case fictitious before any investigation or on the basis of reports published in the newspapers."
"The petitioners are saying that the cases are false, and the police are saying the cases are right. Who will decide who is correct? Let it to go the concern court. This matter cannot come to the High Court through the writ petition. It's a criminal matter and there is separate forum to dispose such kind of matter," the Attorney General said.
"They can challenge this kind of cases after starting of trial of the cases. No rule can be issued in this matter, as the police are acting on lawful authority," he said.