The High Court Monday stayed the proceedings of 72 cases filed against Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam for allegedly defaming Awami League president Sheikh Hasina by publishing unsubstantiated information provided by the military intelligence during the army-controlled interim government in 2007-08.
In response to separate bail petitions, the HC bench comprising Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice AKM Shahidul Huq also issued a rules asking the government to explain why the cases should not be quashed.
The stay order of the HC would continue till disposal of the rules.Earlier on April 3, another HC bench granted Mahfuz anticipatory bails in 66 cases out of total 83 cases.
Now the proceedings of 10 more cases will continue as Mahfuz is yet to seek stay on the cases.
Mahfuz Anam on a TV talk show on February 3 admitted that he made a “big mistake” by running “corruption” stories based on information provided by the DGFI during the 2007-2008 caretaker regime.
“I admit it. It was a big mistake as an editor, in my journalism career,” Anam said on the talk show.
More than 83 cases have so far been filed on charges of defamation and sedition against Mahfuz Anam for running “false corruption stories” against Sheikh Hasina. – Staff Reporter
Unb adds: The government and the plaintiffs of the cases were made respondents to the rule.
Barrister Rafique-ul Haque stood for the Star Editor while deputy attorney general Maniruzzaman Kabir represented the state.
On April 3, the High Court granted a four-week interim bail to Mahfuz Anam in 68 cases filed across the country on defamation and sedition charges.
Of the 72 cases, according to the court, 17 were filed on sedition charge while the rest 55 on defamation charge. Besides, 10 more cases were filed against the Star editor.
Over 80 cases were filed against Mahfuz Anam on defamation and sedition charges for publishing ‘confusing’ and ‘defamatory’ reports in his daily on Awami League President Sheikh Hasina during the military-backed caretaker tenure in 2007-2008.