BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Friday alleged that the government has enacted the Digital Security Act with an ‘evil motive’ to ‘regulate’ the media ahead of the national election.
“This law has been made with an evil plan to keep the media under its (govt) control ahead of the election. The rules under the much-talked-about section 57 have been included in four different sections of the act tactfully,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, the BNP leader said the government’s main motive behind the act is also not to allow the media to work independently.
Nagorik Odhikar Andolon Forum, a pro-BNP platform, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club marking the second death anniversary of ex-BNP standing committee member ASM Hannan Shah.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the section 32 of the act is very dangerous. “As per the provisions of the section 32, journalists can be sentenced to 14 years’ jail and fined Tk 25 lakh for publishing any government document in the media.”
He said the government has included such provisions in the act to gag the media and restrain its independence and snatch the freedom of expression. “This act is contrary to the Constitution, and the government has formulated it only to hang onto power.”
About ex-Chief Justice SK Sinha’s book ‘A Broken Dream, the BNP leader said it is an historical document where the writer clearly stated how the government used to establish its political influence on the country’s apex court and create barriers for the judges to working independently.
He also said Sinha and other judges gave verdict against the 16th amendment as it was unconstitutional one. “I think the 16th amendment verdict and SK Sinha’s book will remain as historical documents in our political and social life.”
Moudud, however, said SK Sinha while performing as the Chief Justice did an unfair act in the case over his Gulshan House. “He (Sinha) gave a verdict that my house was not government’s property. But he unfairly accepted the government’s appeal regarding the house though it was not the government’s house.”
The BNP leader said the government forced him out of the house through sending police as its appeal was accepted in the apex court. “Even after that, I defend Sinha’s 16th amendment verdict and praise his book. He’ll be immortal in the history of Bangladesh for his role and the book.”