Monday, May 20, 2019 | ePaper

Process of law is not an engine of harassment

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High Court Division :
(Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction)
Sheikh Abdul Awal J
Bhishmadev
Chakrabortty J

Alamgir Matubbar (Md). ...........Accused-Appellant
vs
State ...........Respondent

Judgment
Juy 18th, 2018

Code of Criminal Procedure (V of 1898)
Sections 173 and 561A
The investigating officer having found no evidence oral or documentary whatsoever in support of the alleged beating of demanding dowry. It is found that the tribunal without assigning any reason whatsoever giving a goby to the martial aspects of the final report took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others on the basis of a naraji petition filed by the informant.     ...........(12)

Code of Criminal Procedure (V of 1898)
Sections 173 and 561A     
Non-speaking order-Mere omission to assign reasons in the impugned order is not fatal, if in law the order is sustainable. To justify the impugned order, we have carefully examined the entire materials on record including the first information report, final report, notice under Section 7(1) of the Muslim Family Ordinance, talaknama, it appears that the materials on record are plainly insufficient to think that there are reasonable grounds exist for believing that the accused appellant has been guilty of the offence alleged. .. .... (14 & 15)
AKM Faiz, Senior Advocate with Md Abul Kashem Bhuiyan, Advocates-For the Appellant.
Md Fazlur Rahman Khan, DAG with Khandker Bashir Ahmed, DAG with Md Ali Jinnah, AAG and Sandha Ghosh, AAG-For the Respondent .
Judgment
Sheikh Abdul Awal J : This appeal is directed against the order No.4 dated 24-8-2016 passed by the learned Judge, Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunal, Madaripur in Nari-o-Shishu Case No. 257 of 20 16 arising out of Madaripur Police Station Case No. 38 dated 18-2-2016 corresponding to GR 97 of 2016 under Section 11 (ga)/30 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 (as amended in 2003) taking cognizance against the appellant and others.
2. Material facts relevant for disposal of the Rule, briefly, are that Most Fatema Akhter @ Fatema Jannat as informant lodged an Ejahar with Madaripur Sadar Police Station, Madaripur on 18-2-2016 against the accused-appellant and others stating, inter-alia, that the marriage between informant and the accused No. 1 (accused appellant) was solemnized on 30-10-2015 and at the time of marriage the father of the informant and other relatives paid gift of Taka 10 Lac to the accused No. 1 but the marriage was not happy one, soon after marriage the accused No. I with the help of other accused-persons asked the informant to bring Taka 5 Lac as dowry from her parents for going to abroad but, the informant refused to bring such dowry from her parents and consequently, the accused persons assaulted on her to pay the same and at one stage the accused persons driven out the informant from their house on 31-12-2015 the thereafter, the informant-victim went to her father's home. In this background the accussed-persons came to her parents home on 9-1-2016 on the plea of compromise asking Taka 5 Lac as dowry and against the informant and her parents refused to pay the same and then the accused persons conjointly tortured her physically and mentally in presence of witnesses and left the place of  occurrence and thereafter, the informant was taken to Rajoir Hospital for treatment.
3. Upon the aforesaid first information report the Madaripur Police Station Case No. 38 dated 18-2-2016 under Sections 11 (ga)/30 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 was started.
4. Police during investigation visited the place of occurrence, examined the witnesses under Section 161 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and after completion of investigation submitted a final report, whereupon the informant filed a nariji petition on 31-7-2016 before the learned Judge, Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunl, Madaripur, who by the impugned order dated 24-8-2016 took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others under Section 11(Ga)/30 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 (as amended in 2003).
5. Being aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the impugned order dated 24-8-2016 the accused-appellant preferred this appeal under Section 28 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 (as amended in 2003) before this Court.
6. Mr AKM Faiz, the learned Advocate appearing for the accused-appellant submits that the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunal, Madaripur without applying its judicial mind into the facts and circumstances of the case and the law barring of the subject most illegally took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others under Section 11 (Ga)/30 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 (as amended in 2003) by the impugned order dated 24-8-2016 and, as such, the same is liable to be set-aside. Mr Faiz further submits it is on record that the accused-appellant by registered talaknama dated 14-1-2016 divorced the informant in accordance with law and the informant by suppressing the same with malafide intention filed this false case on 18-2-2016 in order to harass and humiliate the accused-appellant and others. Finally, the learned Advocate submits that in this case police after full-fledged investigation submitted final report recommending for discharging the accused-appellant and others from the proceeding along with a prayer for drawing the proceeding under Section 17 of the Ain against the informant for filing false and baseless case although, the learned tribunal Judge without assigning any single reason whatsoever most illegally at his own motion took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others by a single line non-speaking order and the same is not tenable in law. The learned Advocate to fortify his submission has relied on decision reported in 18 BLC 598.
7. The learned Deputy Attorney-General, Mr Khandker Sashir Ahmed, on the other hand. submits that the learned Judge, Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunal in the facts and circumstances of the case committed no wrong in taking cognizance against the accused-appellant and others and, as such, question of interference does not arise at all.
8. We have heard the learned Advocate and the learned Deputy Attorney-General, perused the impugned order dated 24-8-2016 along with other materials on record including the first information report, final report, notice under Section 7(1) of the Muslim Family Ordinance, talaknama (Annexure-D1).
9. On scrutiny of the record, it appears that on 18-2-2016 Most. Fatema Akhter @ Fatema Jannat as informant lodged an Ejahar with Madaripur Sadar Police Station, Madaripur against the accused-appellant and others on the allegation that their conjugal life was not happy one, soon after marriage the accused No. I (accused appellant) with the help of other accused-persons asked the informant to bring Tk.5 Lac as dowry from her parents for going to abroad but, the informant refused to bring such dowry from her parents and consequently, the accused persons assaulted on her to pay the same and at one stage the accused-persons driven out the informant from their house on 31-12-2015 and thereafter, the informant-victim went to her father's home. thereafter, the accused-persons came to her parents home on 9-1-2016 and again the accused appellant and others demanded Taka 5 Lac as dowry and again the informant party refused to pay same and thereupon, the accused appellant and others tortured her mentally and physically on 9-1-2016 as a result of which the informant victim was taken to hospital for treatment.
10. On a close perusal of record, we find nothing on record to suggest that the informant victim in support of her injury or treatment filed any medical certificate. The investigating officer on this point stated in his final report that:
“মামলাটিতে পুলিশ সুপার মাদারীপুর মহোদয় কর্তৃক তদন্ত তদারকী প্রতিবেদন সংগ্রহ করিয়া পর্যালোচনা করি। তাহার দেওয়া নির্দেশনা সমূহ যথাযথভাবে প্রতিপালন করি। জখমীর চিকিৎসা সনদ সংগ্রহ করার চেষ্টা করি। কিš' জখমী কোন সরকারী হাসপাতালে চিকিৎসা গ্রহণ না করার কারণে সনদ সংগ্রহ করা সম্ভব হয় নাই।”
11. On gonging through the divorce letter as well as talaknama dated 14-1-2016, it transpires that the accused-appellant divorced the informant on 14-1-2016 and thereafter, on 18-2-2016 the informant lodged the case showing the date of occurrence on 9-1-2016 at 16 hours (4 PM). Police after full-fledged investigation submitted a final report recommending for discharging the accused-appellant and others from the proceeding along with a prayer for taking action under Section 17 of the Ain, 2000 against the informant for filing the false case in the following language-
“মামলার সার্বিক তদন্ত সাক্ষ্য প্রমাণ ও ঘটনার পারিপাশ্বিকতায় বাদী কর্ত"ক এজাহারনামীয় আসামীদের বিরুদ্ধে আনীত অভিযোগ, নারী ও শিশু নির্যাতন দমন আইন, ২০০০ (সংশোধনী/০৩ এর ১১/গ/৩০ ধারার অভিযোগের সাপেক্ষে কোনরূপ সাক্ষ্য প্রমাণ পাওয়া যায় নাই। বাদীনির আনীত অভিযোগটি প্রাথমিকভাবে মিথ্যা বলিয়া প্রমাণিত পাওয়ার মামলার এজাহার নামীয় আসামী ১। জাহিদুল ইসলাম মিঠু (২৯) ২। জাকির হোসেন (৩২) ৩। আলমগীর মাতুব্বর (৫০) ৪। আক্কল মাতুব্বর (৫৫) ৫। মুক্তা বেগম (২৬) ৬। চায়না বেগম (২৫) ৭। লুৎফর রহমান (৩৫) গণকে অত্র মামলার দায় হইতে অব্যাহতি দানের নিমত্তি এবং বাদীর বিরুদ্ধে একই আইনের ১৭ ধারা মোতাবেক ব্যব¯'া গ্রহণের জন্য চূড়ান্ত রিপোর্ট দাখিলের মতামত ব্যক্ত করিয়া উর্দ্ধতন কর্ত"পক্ষ বরাবরে সাক্ষের স্মারকলিপি দাখিল করি। পুলিশ অফিস স্মারক নং ১৩০/ডি তাং ২-৫-২০১৬ইং মূলে চূড়ান্ত নিষ্পত্তির আদেশ প্রাপ্ত হইয়া মাদারীপুর সদর মডেল থানার চূড়ান্ত নিষ্পত্তির আদেশ প্রাপ্ত হইয়া মাদারীপুর সদর মডেল থানার চূড়ান্ত রিপোর্ট নং-২৭, তাঃ ৩-৫-২০১৬ ইং মিথ্যা ধারা : নারী ও শিশু নির্যাতন দমন আইন ২০০০ (সং/০৩) এর ১১(গ)/৩০ দাখিল করিলাম। বাদীর বিরুদ্ধে একই আইনের ১৭ ধারা মোতাবেক ব্যব¯'া গ্রহণের আদেশ দানে মর্জি হয়”।
12. From the above, it transpires that the  investigating officer having found no evidence oral or documentary whatsoever in support of the alleged beating of demanding dowry. It is found that the learned tribunal Judge without assigning any reason whatsoever giving a goby to the martial aspects of the final report took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others on the basis of a naraji petition by the informant.
13. Mr AKM Faiz, the learned Advocate submits that the impugned order dated 24-8-2016 is non-speaking, slipshod and cryptic in nature inasmuch as the learned tribunal Judge without assigning any reason whatsoever, most illegally giving a goby to the final report mechanically took cognizance against the accused-appellant and others.
14. It is now well settled that mere omission to assign reasons in the impugned order is not fatal, if in law the order is sustainable.
15. To justify the impugned order dated 24-8-2016, we have carefully examined the entire materials on record including the first information report, final report, notice under Section 7(1) of the Muslim Family Ordinance, talaknama
 (Annexure-Dl), it appears that the materials on record are plainly insufficient to think that there are reasonable grounds exist for believing that the accused appellant has been guilty of the offence alleged.
16. In the facts and circumstances of the case, the learned tribunal Judge ought to have assigned reasons for taking cognizance against the accused-appellant and others. As a matter of fact the materials on record do not sufficiently provide any ground that the accused appellant is involved in the offence as alleged.
17. In view of the discussions above, we find no difficulty whatever in holding that the learned Judge, Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Tribunal, Madaripur committed wrong in taking cognizance against the accused-appellant and others under Section 11(Ga)/30 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 (as amended in 2003) without' assigning any cogent reason. On going through the final report vis-a-vis the notice under Section 7(1) of the Muslim Family Ordinance, talaknama (Annexure-D1), we find no reason to disbelieve or ignore the final report in absence of any medical document or any kind of reliable evidence in support of the alleged beating of demanding dowry. The process of law must not be used as an engine of harassment.
18. By the way, it may be mentioned that at the end of the day, Mr AKM Faiz, the learned Advocate for the appellant takes us through the supplementary affidavit dated 16-7-2018 and then submits that the accused-appellant undertakes, if this criminal appeal is allowed, the accused appellant or any of the accused persons in the case will not take any step for filing case under Section 17 of the Nari-o-Shishu Nirjatan Daman Ain, 2000 ( as amendment in 2003 ) against the informant respondent.
19. For all the above reasons, the appeal is allowed. The impugned order dated 24-8-2016 is set aside.
Let a copy of this judgment be communicated to the Court concerned at once.

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