Saturday, December 15, 2018 | ePaper

Shahidul Alam gets HC bail

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Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Thursday granted permanent bail to renowned photographer Shahidul Alam considering his age and the time he spent behind bars in a case filed under Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Act.
The HC Bench of Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty delivered the verdict after hearing on a rule issued earlier by the another HC bench following a petition filed by Shahidul Alam seeking bail in the case.
There is now no legal bar for Shahidul Alam to get
released from jail, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, a lawyer for Shahidul, told the reporters.
The acclaimed photographer is staying behind bars for over three months.
Barrister Sara Hossain, the main lawyer for Shahidul Alam, told the reporters that the High Court granted bail to Shahidul considering that he had been suffering in jail for more than 100 days and he is a man of 63 years.
Besides, the case against him is under investigation, she added.
Meanwhile, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told that his office would move an appeal to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking a stay on the HC verdict that granted bail to Shahidul.
On September 18, 2018, Shahidul Alam filed the bail petition with the High Court seeking bail in the case filed on charge of spreading rumours against the state.
He submitted the petition through his lawyer saying that he would not leave the country if he is 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.
On October 7, 2018, the High Court bench of Justice A K M Asaduzzaman and Justice S M Mozibur Rahman issued a rule asking the government to explain in a week as to why renowned photographer Shahidul Alam should not be granted bail in the case filed against him under Section 57 of ICT Act.
Later this HC Bench started hearing on the rule, but the bench on November 1, 2018, dropped the case from the cause-list of the court. Then the file was moved to the court of Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty.
Shahidul Alam, 63, is now in Dhaka Central Jail in the case lodged under the controversial Section 57 of ICT Act.
Police charged him with "spreading propaganda and false information against the government" during the student protest for safe road.
He was picked up by plainclothes men from his home in the capital's Dhanmondi on August 5.
Police filed the case against him 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 not given 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.

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