The High Court on Thursday granted bail to photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol in two cases filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA), clearing the way for his release.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order.
With the court order, there is no bar for Kajol’s release now, said his counsel Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua .
Deputy Attorney General Mohamamd Sarwar Hossain represented the state.
The journalist had gone missing on March 10, a day after one case was filed by Awami League's Magura-1 MP Saifuzzaman Shikhor.
Also read: Photojournalist Kajol secures bail
Kajol and 30 others, including Manabzamin editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, were accused in the DSA case for publishing and sharing an article on social media over expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.
Also read: Photojournalist Kajol denied bail
Two other cases were filed against Kajol with Kamrangirchar and Hazaribagh police stations under the DSA on March 10 and March 11.
Also read: Why journalist Kajol should not be granted bail, HC asks
After remaining out of trace for 53 days, Kajol was shown as detained by Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) along the Benapole border on May 3, and produced before a Jashore court the same day.
Also read: Photojournalist Kajol put on 2-day remand
Although the court granted him bail in the case, he was sent to jail as Kotwali police brought another charge against him under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Also read: Photojournalist Kajol secures bail
The High Court on Tuesday suspended the freedom fighter gallntary awards of four fugitive killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The four convicts are -SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Moslehuddin alias Muslem Uddin Khan.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order after hearing a petition.
The HC also asked the Cabinet Secretary and the Liberation War Affairs secretary to take necessary steps in this regard.
Read Also: Bangabandhu’s killer Majed finally hanged
Besides, the HC issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the inaction of the government in cancelling the gallantry awards of the four convicted killers should not be declared illegal.
The authorities concerned have been asked to respond to the rule.
Advocate Abdul Kaiyum Khan stood for the petitioner.
On December 2, Supreme Court lawyer Subir Nandi Das filed the writ petition.
According to the writ, the government awarded Bir Sreshtho title to seven, Bir Bikrom to 175, Bir Pratik 426 in 1973.
On December 15, 1973, a gazette notification was issued in this regard.
Of them, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Moslehuddin alias Muslem Uddin Khan were awarded Bir Pratik.
Many countries including the USA, New Zealand and Canda have revoked the gallantry award of convicts, said the petition.
On August 15, 1975, Bangladesh’s founding father Bangabandhu and most of his family members were assassinated by a cabal of military men.
Eighteen members of his family, including Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three sons – Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel, two daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal, brother Sheikh Naser, peasant leader Abdur Rab Serniabat, youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni and his wife Arzu Moni, Baby Serniabat, Sukanta Babu, Arif and Abdul Nayeem Khan Rintu, were, among others, killed on that fateful night.
Military Secretary Brigadier General Jamil was also killed. Several members of a family in the capital’s Mohammadpur area were killed by artillery shells fired by the killers on the same day.
On November 19, 2009, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld the death penalty of 12 convicted former army officials for the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family members.
Five killers of Bangabandhu – Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Mohiuddin Ahmed – were hanged in January 2010.
Besides, another fugitive convict, Capt (dismissed) Abdul Majed, hanged in April, 2019.
Another killer Aziz Pasha met natural death in Zimbabwe in 2001.
The fugitive killers are former Lt Col Khandaker Abdur Rashid, SHBM Noor Chowdhury, Shariful Haque Dalim, Rashed Chowdhury, and Risaldar Moslehuddin.
Of them, the government know the whereabouts of Noor Chowdhury, Rashed Chowdhury and Moslehuddin while it was not sure about the other three fugitives -- Rashid, Dalim and Majed.
According to the government, Noor Chowdhury has been living in Canada while Rashed Chowdhury in the USA.
The High Court on Monday cleared five death row convicts of all charges in a case filed over gang-rape of a teenage girl 18 years ago.
The bench of Justice SM Emdadul Hoque and Justice Bhishmadev Chakraborty came up with the verdict after hearing the appeals of the accused and the death reference of the case.
The convicted accused are Shamim, Vikon Rongdi, Tikon Rongdi, Tapash Shema and Rup Miah of Netrokona's Purbadhala upazila. Among them, Rup Miah is absconding.
Also read: 5 to die in Tangail gang-rape case
Deputy Attorney General Md Mozammal Haque Rana represented the state while lawyers Fazlul Hoque Khan Farid, AM Mahbub Uddin and a few others stood for the accused.
The court dropped the charges against the accused as the allegations were not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant’s lawyers said.
Fazlul Hoque said, “There was no evidence of rape in the medical report and the statements made by the victim and witnesses were inconsistent.”
Asked if the government will move an appeal against the verdict, Deputy Attorney General Mozammal Haque said, “I will send a note to the Attorney General. If he decides on lodging an appeal, it will be done.”
Also read: 5 to die in Tangail gang-rape case
According to the case statement, the teenager was repeatedly gang-raped – on July 20, 2002 – in Netrokona while she was on her way to a relative’s house.
The girl, who was 15-year-old at that time, filed a case with Purbadhala Police Station the next day.
On November 8 that same year, the police filed a chargesheet.
Almost 13 years later, in February 2015, the district Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal sentenced the five accused to death in connection with the case and imposed a fine of Tk25,000 on each. Today's judgement must raise questions over how the lower court could arrive at such a flawed verdict. The full judgement, once it is delivered, can be expected to shed light on whether the reasons were systemic or specific to the case.
The High Court on Monday ordered the authorities concerned to shut down all illegal brick kilns in Chattogram within a week to prevent pollution.
It also ordered them to submit a list to the court within 30 days of those authorized brick kilns which are using soil of hills and arable land for making bricks and using wood as fuel in the kilns.
The court also issued a rule seeking explanation as to why the inaction of the government in shutting down illegal brick kilns would not be declared illegal.
Secretary to the Environment Ministry, deputy commissioner of Chattogram and other concerned have been asked to respond to the rule within four weeks.
The HC bench of Justice Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Justice Mohiuddin Shamim came up with the order and rule following a writ petition filed by Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh (HRPB). Advocate Manzil Murshid stood for the writ petitioner.
Advocate Manzil Murshid said several hundred illegal brick kilns have been operating in Lohagara upazila and other areas, leading to environmental damage. But the authorities concerned are not taking necessary action to stop the illegal activities, he added.
A research report by the DoE and the World Bank published in March last year on the sources of air pollution in Bangladesh identified three main sources –brick kilns, fumes of vehicles and dust from construction sites.
“Brick kilns are responsible for 58 percent air pollution in the capital. Plans have been taken to shut [traditional] kilns currently in operation. We’re working to produce eco-friendly bricks,” Environment, Forests and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin had told UNB.
He said the government plans to stop burning bricks at kilns by 2025 and use block bricks to construct buildings under government projects.
Kiln owners have already been directed to produce 10 percent block bricks, the minister said, adding that it will be increased to 100 percent over time and the use of block bricks will gradually be made mandatory in private projects, too.
In a series of directives in January, the High Court had asked DoE to shut down illegal brick kilns within two months.
The DoE has been conducting drives against the illegal brick kilns for months now and slapping fines.
Also read: 5 brick kilns fined Tk8 lakh in Sylhet
Expired medicines worth Tk 30 crore have been destroyed in the last 11 months through mobile court drives from January to October this year.
The Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) authorities submitted a report in this regard before the High Court bench of Justice Md Khasruzzaman and Justice Md Mahmud Hassan Talukder on Monday.
Tk 7.26 crore was realised in fine during the period, according to the report.
Besides, a total of 1437 cases were filed during the period.
Deputy Attorney General ABM Abdullah Al Mahmud Bashar represented the state.
The HC asked the DGDA to submit the final report of the drives against expired and adulterated drugs within the next three months, said ABM Abdullah.
The High Court on June 18, 2019 asked the authorities concerned to take necessary steps to remove expired medicines from pharmacy shelves across the country and destroy those within 30 days.
The court also asked the relevant authorities to take action against those involved in preserving and selling expired medicines and submit a progress report in this regard.
On June 10, last year, Manjur Mohammad Shahrier, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection's (DNCRP), said 93 percent pharmacies in the capital kept date-expired drugs. The report was published in different newspapers the following day.
Read Also: Expired medicines recovered from septic tank
Supreme Court lawyer Mahfuzur Rahman Milon, on behalf of Justice Watch Foundation, filed a writ petition with the High Court after attaching the reports published in national dailies on June 17 of that year.
The HC also issued a rule asking the government to explain as to why the ineffectiveness of the defendant should not be declared illegal.
Secretaries to the Home Ministry, Health and Family Welfare Ministry, Law Ministry, Commerce Ministry, Industries Ministry, director general of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), director general of Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) and director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection's (DNCRP), its deputy director, IGP, president of Bangladesh Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (BAPI) and its general secretary have been made respondents to the rule.
According to the report published in daily newspapers on June 10, 2019, Manjur Mohammad Shahrier, director general of Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection's (DNCRP), said 93 percent pharmacies in Dhaka keep date-expired medicines.
He made the remarks while speaking at a programme at Khamarbari arranged by Bangladesh Supermarket Owners Association marking ‘World Food Safety Day’.