The court has fixed Monday as the next hearing date
The High Court has ordered the state to submit before it a copy of the conviction and one-year imprisonment sentence, issued by a mobile court, of Dhaka Tribune's Kurigram Correspondent Ariful Islam.
The bench of Justice Md Ashraful Kamal and Justice Sardar Md Rashed Jahangir passed the order on Sunday, after hearing a writ petition seeking its order to declare illegal journalist Ariful's conviction, which took place following a raid at his house in the early hours of Saturday.
The court also fixed Monday as the next hearing date.
During the hearing, the bench also asked the state to respond to five questions over the mobile court's judgment.
The questions were:
1. Was the drive conducted by a mobile court or a special taskforce?
2. There are some rules and regulations regarding entering anyone’s house after midnight. In this case, were these rules followed and what measures were taken?
3. According to the journalist’s wife, 40 to 50 people had taken part in the raid. Surely, they must have considered the matter to be very important. Why did they consider the matter to be very important?
4. Before conducting any drive, an executive magistrate of a mobile court needs to take notes of the information source. Who informed the mobile court?
5. According to the Mobile Court Act, an incident needs to take place in front of the executive magistrate to warrant action. In this case, what kind of incident took place?
At the same time, the court also asked Deputy Attorney General Debasish Bhattacharyya, who represented the state during the hearing, to call Kurigram Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sultana Pervin personally and collect all the information by email before Monday’s hearing.
Earlier in the morning, Advocate Ishrat Hasan had filed the petition on behalf of online news portal Bangla Tribune's Executive Editor Harun-Ur-Rashid.
Ariful, Kurigram district correspondent for Dhaka Tribune and Bangla Tribune, was sent to jail early Saturday, soon after the mobile court, set up at the Kurigram DC's office, ended the trial proceedings.
The mobile court in the dead of night jailed the journalist for a year, after law enforcement members led by magistrates picked him up from his home in Kurigram town.
It has been alleged that drugs and alcohol were recovered from the journalist's possession, which his family termed as absurd.