Police will have to take counsel from the headquarters for accepting any case under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
Police Headquarters’ public relations officer AKM Kamrul Ahsan said the directive was issued on Wednesday following a meeting of police high-ups at the headquarters. Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque chaired the meeting.
“High officials of the police have discussed the filing of case under Section 57 of the ICT Act. IGP Shahidul Haque has told the officials that the police will have to seek advice from the headquarters before accepting any case under Section 57,” he said.
The IGP also asked them to notify police officials across the country of the decision, Kamrul added.
Although the government enacted the Information and Communication Technology (ACT) Act to check cyber crimes, influential people have been found using Section 57 of the act as a tool to harass journalists and rights activists, sparking fear and anger among the people.
On Monday, Abdul Latif Morol, a correspondent of the local daily Prabaha in Khulna, was sued under Section 57, adding to the recent spate of cases under the ICT Act.
Earlier on July 13, Prof Dr Abul Mansur Ahmed of the mass communication and journalism department at Dhaka University lodged a case against Dr Fahmidul Haq, an associate professor of the same department, with Shahbagh police station, alleging that Fahmidul posted on a Facebook group bringing false allegations against him.
Section 57 stipulates that any post, image, or video on an electronic format that “causes to deteriorate law and order, prejudice the image of the state or person or hurt religious beliefs” are non-bailable offences.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com