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A miscarriage of justice

  • Published at 09:00 pm September 30th, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of High Court building Dhaka Tribune

High Court cancels Narail court’s order that exempted a man accused in a 2015 murder case

The High Court has questioned the judicial knowledge of Narail District and Sessions Judge Sheikh Abdul Ahad, over his decision to exempt one of the main accused from a murder case, after considering the occupation, and defence statement of the accused, instead of examining other necessary documents including the autopsy report.

The court also annulled the exemption order, and called Judge Ahad’s decision to issue it, during the charge framing process in the 2015 case filed over the murder of one Enamul Haque in Narail, a grave mistake, illegal, and a miscarriage of justice.

It said the exemption order not only made the High Court wonder, but raised reasonable suspicion on the judge’s qualification to handle criminal cases, and his knowledge of criminal laws.

The court added that Judge Ahad should be kept away from discharging judicial activities in criminal cases for one year, so that he can study, and prepare himself properly to discharge judicial functions.

The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim, and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman made the observations in the full text of its suo moto order, issued on August 29, after hearing a petition on the matter.

The full text was published on the Supreme Court website on Monday.

The court also asked the Law Ministry to consult with the Supreme Court, and take necessary action against the Narail judge.

The man who was exempted from the murder charges is Mallik Mazharul Islam alias Mazha. He works in National Security Intelligence (NSI), and was the second accused in the case.

The High Court said it was unfortunate, and hard to believe that a Sessions judge had no primary knowledge of the spirit, and scope of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and its Section 265.

But if Judge Ahad issued the order even after having the aforementioned knowledge, the court said, then it must be considered that he did so with a different motive, which only he can explain.

The court added that it felt the judge did not apologize after realizing he made that mistake unintentionally; instead it felt like he admitted to making the mistake, and apologized only because the High Court Division found out about it.

Case details

Enamul Haque, a master’s student in Khulna’s BL College, was shot to death in front of Chondinagar Government Primary School in Barnail Bazar area of Narail, on February 10, 2015.

The following day, Enamul’s brother Nazmul Huda filed the murder case at Kalia police station, accusing 68 people including NSI official Mallik Mazharul Islam.

In the case statement, Nazmul alleged that Mallik had shot his brother three times to ensure his death.

Police submitted the charge sheet in the case on January 30, 2017.

Narail District and Sessions Judge Ahad granted Mallik bail November 29, 2018. The judge also accepted the charge sheet on June 10 this year, but exempted Mallik from the charges.

Later, Nazmul moved the High Court challenging the order of exempting Mallik, and also sought the inclusion of his name in the charge sheet.

On July 7, the High Court ordered Judge Ahad to explain why his judicial powers should not be curtailed for exempting Mallik from the murder case.

Three days later, the judge sent a letter to the Supreme Court registrar general’s office offering unconditional apology over the matter.

The Attorney General’s Office placed the letter before the High Court bench on July 30, as per the July 7 order.