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Dhaka Tribune

Zafrullah cleared of contempt

Update : 01 Sep 2015, 06:16 AM

The International Crimes Tribunal has exempted freedom fighter and Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury from proceedings for contempt of court.

Tribunal 2 led by Justice Obaidul Hassan also asked Zafrullah to be cautious while making remarks about judges and judicial system of the country.

The tribunal also termed Zafrullah "extremely wrong-headed" for his remarks about its judges.

The Magsaysay Award winner had offered an unconditional apology before the tribunal for his remarks on August 9.

Also Read: SC quashes Zafrullah's conviction

On June 10, Zafrullah served one-hour imprisonment in the courtroom and was fined Tk5,000 for criticising a verdict that penalised Bangladesh-based UK journalist David Bergman in December on contempt charges.

Emerging from the courtroom, he told media: “Today’s contempt of court verdict is a proof of the mental illness of the three judges...Ensuring justice is not possible if the judges cannot take criticisms. When they cannot stand criticisms and lack rationality, they hide themselves under the cover of the law.”

Upon this remarks, a petition seeking contempt proceedings was filed against the public health activist by three freedom fighters and two organisers of Gonojagoron Moncho. In response, the tribunal sought explanation from Zafrullah.

Read More: Court finds Zafrullah guilty of contempt

He also filed a petition with the Supreme Court refusing to pay the fine imposed by the tribunal. After hearing, the apex court quashed the tribunal’s judgement as he tendered unconditional apology.

Earlier, the tribunal 1 had found his comments on the trail procedure contemptuous, but later pardoned him with a serious caution.

The freedom fighter gained prominence after playing a key role in formulating the Bangladesh National Drug Policy in 1982. In 1971, he was one of the organisers of the 480-bed Bangladesh Hospital for freedom fighters and the refugees during the 1971 Liberation War. 

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