• Saturday, Dec 14, 2019
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Trial stuck in limbo for 17 years, judge apologizes

  • Published at 11:31 pm July 3rd, 2019
Women, children denied justice in Bangladesh_Metropolitan Session Judge  court-Mahmud Hossain Opu-Dhaka Tribune
Thousands of cases have been pending for over five years at numerous tribunals across the nation Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Filed in 2002 against defendant Rabeya Khatun and two others for possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition, the trial court judge is yet to pronounce a verdict in the case

The Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Court of Dhaka has apologized to the High Court for not following the latter’s stay order for a trial that has been stuck in limbo for the last 17 years.

Filed in 2002 against defendant Rabeya Khatun and two others for possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition, the trial court judge is yet to pronounce a verdict in the case.

The bench of Justices Jahangir Hossain Selim and Md Riaz Uddin Khan exempted Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Md Al Mamun from appearing in court while his lawyer apologized on his behalf on Wednesday. The bench also fixed the next hearing on July 17.

Advocate AM Amin Uddin and Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon stood for Judge Md Al Mamun while Deputy Attorney General AKM Zahid Sarwar Kajal stood for the state.

The bench also exempted Assistant Public Prosecutor Sahabuddin Miah from personal appearance, the state lawyer for this trial.

Earlier on June 26 the same High Court bench issued summons to the trial court Judge and the public prosecutor to explain their personal stands on Rabeya Khatun's case. 

On April 30, the High Court issued a rule and summoned the case documents of a trial that has been stuck in limbo for the past 17 years. The court also stayed all trial proceedings of the case for the next three months.

Advocate Ashraful Alam filed the writ petition, attaching a recently published article of a national daily with the headline: "How many more days will she roam the courts?"

In the article published on Thursday, Rabeya told reporters that she has been appearing in court since 2002, but the judge has not yet reached a verdict.

On June 2, 2002, police field a case with Tejgaon police station accusing Rabeya, Julhash and Masud of possessing an illegal firearm and six bullets. 

Following this, Rabeya was arrested and imprisoned for six months. Later on March 24, 2003, police submitted a charge sheet against Rabeya and the two other accused.

Rabeya claims to be innocent of the charges brought against her.