Minu was offered money to appear before the court on behalf of the real convict
The High Court on Monday ordered to release Minu Akhter, who had been languishing in a Chittagong jail instead of another convict for the last three years.
The High Court division bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim passed the order virtually as Supreme Court lawyer Md Shishir Monir brought the matter to court’s attention.
“The court ordered to immediately arrest the real convict Kulsum Akter alias Sumi and summoned the lawyer and the appellant who had filed a bail petition for her before the High Court. The court asked them to appear before the court on June 28 and give appropriate explanation,” advocate Md Shishir Monir said.
According to the case documents, an apparel worker Kohinur Begum was murdered on July 9, 2006, in Rahmatganj area in Chittagong and Kulsum Akter of village Majherpara under Lohagara upazila of the district was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia by Chittagong Fourth Additional Sessions Judge Court on November 30, 2017.
The criminal Kulsum then offered Minu Akter, a widow living in a makeshift slum with her three children at the time, to appear before a court on behalf of her in exchange of money and food.
The helpless and illiterate Minu agreed and surrendered before the court on June 12, 2018, impersonating herself as Kulsum, and was immediately sent to jail to serve her term for the crime, which was totally unknown to her.
After a couple of days, Kulsum too refused to help the three children of Minu. After that Minu told her story to jail authorities.
On March 18 this year, Chittagong Senior Jail Superintendent Md Shafikul Islam learned about the matter and brought it before the court’s attention.
The Chittagong court on March 23 forwarded the matter to the High Court and on March 31, the matter came to the High Court’s attention.