'Fictitious' cases: HC delivers split verdict on writ

Split order on 4000 ‘Fictitious’ cases writ in High Court

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Dhaka, Oct 9 – A two-judge High Court bench of the Supreme Court yesterday delivered split order on a writ petition that sought the apex court’s directive on the government to form a high-powered body to probe the legality of about 4,000 fictitious cases filed against many leaders and activists of BNP and other political parties across the country. The senior judge of the HC bench Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury issued a rule asking the government to explain why the filing of fictitious cases should not be declared illegal and why police personnel involved in filing such cases should not be punished.
In an interim order, Justice Myeenul Islam Chowdhury also directed the inspector general of police (IGP) to talk with the police personnel and submit a report before it in 60 days stating the reason of filing such cases.
On the other hand, the junior judge of the HC bench Justice Ashraful Kamal summarily rejected writ petition citing there is other forums to resolve such issues. Such things should go to a bench dealing with criminal cases, not to a bench dealing with writs, 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 orders, the chief justice will assign another bench for final disposal
of the petition, lawyers concerned opined.
The writ petition was filed seeking HC directive on the government to form a high-power committee to probe the authenticity of the cases filed against leaders and activists of the BNP and other political parties.
In the petition, the lawyers prayed to the HC to order the authorities concerned not to harass the people by filing such cases and to take action against those responsible for filing the cases.
The petitioners’ prayed to the HC bench to issue a rule on the authorities to explain why filing such cases should not be declared illegal.
Three pro-BNP lawyers filed the writ petition before the HC in September, seeking its directive to the government to form a high-power committee to inquire about the authenticity of the cases against opposition leaders and activists.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam vehemently opposed saying the writ petition has been filed on the basis of some newspaper reports that claimed the fictitious criminal cases have been filed against innocent people in order to harass them.
If the cases were filed against innocent people, they will be cleared of the charges through investigations and will be granted bail by the trial courts concerned, he said.
The Attorney General said if the police cannot file cases, the criminal proceedings will be damaged.
The writ petition is not acceptable, as the petitioners (three pro-BNP lawyers) cannot become aggrieved for all the criminal cases filed across the country, he said.
AG Mahbubey Alam also said the aggrieved people can move petitions before the High Court for scrapping the proceedings of the cases against them as the cases are criminal cases.
In response to the Attorney General’s argument, Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, one of the petitioners, told the High Court that around 10 lakh BNP men have been made accused in the arbitrary and fictitious cases filed across the country.
He said they filed the writ petition as a public interest litigation to the High Court challenging the filing of the cases, as it is not possible for all the accused of the cases to move before the High Court for remedial action.
The writ petition has been moved before the High Court, which is the last resort for the people, so that police would not harass the people filing such cases.
Earlier on Monday, eminent jurist Dr Kamal Hossain appeared for the writ petitioners, saying that the cases were filed from political intention which is contradictory to the constitution of the country.
The allegations mentioned in the cases are almost the same, and they are ambiguous, he said.
During the proceedings on Monday, the High Court had said the image of the police is tarnished due to the filing of such cases.
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, advocate Nitai Roy Chowdhury and advocate Sanaullah Mia collectively submitted the petition, saying that 4,000 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 petitioners, while attorney general Mahbubey Alam and deputy attorney General Ekramul Haque Tutul stood for the state. Special Correspondent

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