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HC acquits 86-year-old after 17yrs

  • Published at 12:45 am October 31st, 2019
High Court-HC-court
File photo of High Court building Dhaka Tribune

The trial court judge and assistant PP were warned to be careful in future case proceedings

The High Court has scrapped the trial proceedings of a case against 86-year-old Rabeya Khatun, for the possession of an illegal firearm and ammunitions. 

The High Court bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Md Riaz Uddin Khan delivered the verdict yesterday, after hearing a rule issued by the bench earlier.

The court also warned the Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Md Al Mamun and Assistant Public Prosecutor (PP) Sahabuddin Miah of the courtto be careful in future, while handling cases under their jurisdiction.

The petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Ashraful Alam expressed satisfaction over the verdict. 

Quoting Rabeya's grandson Alamgir Hossain, the lawyer said: “Rabeya was very happy when she heard the court’s decision. However, she is ill at the moment.”  

On June 26, the same High Court bench had summoned the trial court judge and the public prosecutor to explain their personal standon Rabeya’s case. 

On April 30, the High Court issued a rule and summoned the case documents of the trial that had been stuck in limbo for the past 17 years;the court also stayed all trial proceedings of the case. Then Advocate Ashraful 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 April 25, Rabeya told reporters that she had 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 for illegal possession of a 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 insisted she was innocent of the charges brought against her.