A total of six cases have been started against the former caretaker government adviser for verbally abusing a female journalist on air
Three more defamation cases have been filed against Barrister Mainul Hosein for verbally abusing journalist Masuda Bhatti during a live television talk show last week.
The lawsuits were started with local courts in Brahmanbaria, Bhola and Comilla on Monday.
With these, Mainul, a former adviser to the last military-controlled caretaker government, is now facing six cases filed over the same charges.
The other three were also filed in local courts in Dhaka, Jamalpur and Kurigram on Sunday.
Masuda herself had filed the defamation case in Dhaka, while the one in Jamalpur seeking Tk20,000 crore in damages was filed by Jamalpur’s Jubo Mohila League unit Convener Farzana Yasmin Lita.
Hours after the court issued arrest warrants against him, he secured a five-month advance bail from the High Court in the first two cases.
In Kurigram, the Tk5,000-crore defamation case was filed by one Advocate Maksuda Begum later in the day. On Monday, he also secured a six-week bail from the High Court in this case.
Former lawmaker Mainul has been facing a firestorm of anger and criticism on both social and mass media since October 16 night, when he called journalist Masuda Bhatti “characterless” on Ekattor Journal, a talk show which was aired live on private channel Ekattor TV.
He also hurled other abusive words at the female journalist, while shouting and telling her to ask questions like an “educated and gentle woman.”
Mainul’s verbal attack on Masuda started right after she said that many were calling him the Jamaat-e-Islami representative in Jatiya Oikya Front, as he recently attended an Islami Chhatra Shibir program, and asked whether it was true.
On Monday, the case in Brahmanbaria’s Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court was filed by Ayesha Ahmed Liza, the district correspondent of The Daily Observer newspaper.
Judge Farzana Ahmed, after taking the charges into cognisance, also issued a warrant for Mainul’s arrest, said the plaintiff’s lawyer Sarwar-e-Alam.
In Bhola, the district’s Jubo Mahila League Convener Khadiza Akhter Swapna filed the defamation suit against Mainul, seeking Tk50-crore in damages.
The judge of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, Sharif Md Sanaul Haque, accepted the case and ordered a judicial probe into the allegations. The court also ordered the authorities concerned to submit the probe report on October 31.
The defamation case in Comilla against Mainul Hosein was filed by a lawyer named Subir Nandi with the district’s Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court on Sunday afternoon.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Md Sohel Rana took the charges into cognisance on Monday and then set December 23 as the next hearing date.
Five people, including Masuda Bhatti, were named as witnesses.
On Saturday, 55 editors and senior journalists from both print and electronic media also demanded a public apology from Mainul for his abusive behaviour against Masuda.