• Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:00 pm

High Court rips into ACC over Jahalam blunder

  • Published at 07:37 pm March 6th, 2019
File photo of jute factory worker Jahalam, who has spent the last three years in jail instead of the real accused in 33 graft cases Focus Bangla

The man had served three years in prison on charges of loan fraud and embezzlement despite being innocent

The High Court on Wednesday observed that the Anti-Corruption Commission must take the responsibility for not securing the bail of Jahalam, who was wrongly-convicted and imprisoned for three years due to an identity mix-up.

A bench comprised of Justices FRM Nazmul Ahsan and KM Kamrul Kader observed that the ACC should have acted to secure bail for Jahalam when they learned he was innocent and wrongly imprisoned.

The bench said: "The commission (ACC) should have at least managed bail for Jahaalam when it came to know that he was innocent. But your lawyers did not do it. Why did your prosecution not manage bail for him although he repeatedly said he is not Abu Salek but Jahalam? You (ACC) must take the responsibility for it.”

The court also sought more detailed documents of 33 cases of loan fraud involving Sonali Bank along with bank statements as affidavits within April 10.

The court further observed: “How many bank employees were named in the charges? We are going to look into everything. The Bangladesh Bank report listed 18 banks. Make sure you provide all pertinent documents from all these banks.”

The court also asked the ACC counsel: “What did the investigator do before the report came out? The ACC is an independent institution, you have been given a lot of freedom to operate.  What did you do?

“If a cat cannot catch mice, it becomes obsolete.”

In response, ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan pleaded limitations of the ACC.

Earlier on Tuesday, the ACC claimed it is not responsible for the Jahalam blunder.

Jahalam was arrested in 2016 after he was mistaken for one Abu Salek who was accused in 33 cases filed by the ACC over loan fraud and the embezzlement of nearly Tk18.5 crore from Sonali Bank. He was released on February 4, a day after it was brought to the High Court’s attention that he was serving time instead of Salek.