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Top court: Kamrunnahar had ill intentions in granting bail to rape suspect

  • Published at 12:07 pm November 25th, 2021
High Court Supreme Court
File photo of the Bangladesh Supreme Court Dhaka Tribune

Appellate Division says she is not fit to preside over any criminal cases

The Supreme Court has observed that the decision by Mosammat Kamrunnahar, a former women and children repression prevention tribunal judge, to grant bail to a rape suspect despite a stay order indicated ill intention.

The Appellate Division also said that Kamrunnahar is not fit to preside over any criminal cases.

The top court’s decision came on November 22. The full verdict was published late on Wednesday.

Kamrunnahar came under fire recently for her observation in the November 11 verdict in the case over the 2017 rape of two students at The Raintree Dhaka hotel in Banani. 

All five of the defendants were acquitted of the charges in the verdict by Dhaka’s Seventh Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal.

In her observation, Kamrunnahar said the investigating officer submitted a biased chargesheet and that medical reports of the victims did not find any signs of sexual violation.

Also read - Judge Kamrunnahar’s judicial powers seized

"The victims came to the police 38 days after the incident, saying they had been raped. The investigating officer should have given the matter proper consideration,” said Kamrunnahar.

The investigation officer “wasted the people's time,” she said, before instructing the police not to record rape cases if more than 72 hours pass after the incident.

The court commented that the victims had consensual sex with the accused and they already had an active sex life.

Amid widespread criticism over the observation, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on November 14 suspended her judicial powers and ordered her not to attend any court proceedings. 

The Law Ministry was also asked to withdraw Kamrunnahar from her current workplace and attach her to the ministry.

Also read - Banani rape: No mention of rejecting case after 72 hours in full verdict

Meanwhile, it came to light that despite a stay order, Kamrunnahar granted bail to a rape suspect in a 2018 case filed with Hatirjheel police station in Dhaka. At the time, the Appellate Division sought explanation from Kamrunnahar.

In its verdict in that case on October 14 last year, Dhaka’s Seventh Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal, presided then by Kamrunnahar, acquitted the defendant Aslam Shikdar. The prosecution challenged the decision in High Court.

On November 22, Kamrunnahar appeared before the Appellate Division and said that she was not aware that the chamber judge had stayed Aslam Shikder’s bail. 

When the court said the case documents for the bail hearings included a copy of the chamber judge’s court and that her predecessor had denied bail to Aslam on five occasions, Kamrunnahar replied that she had not seen the previous documents and that it was a mistake from her part.

The Appellate Division’s full verdict released on Wednesday said her “intentional oversight” in noticing the entire records of the case indicates an “ill intention.”

The court said Kamrunnahar violated the Appellate Division’s order by granting bail to Aslam Shikder and that she is “not fit” to preside over any criminal cases.

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