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3 August, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 August, 2017 02:03:35 AM
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Section 57

Another journo behind bars

HQ approval must before police accepts any case; Quader for stopping misuse
STAFF REPORTER

Yet another journalist has been put behind bars after he was charged under Section 57 of the ICT Act for his Facebook post.

Simanto Khokan, Brahmanbaria district correspondent of the Daily Observer, is alleged to have defamed a family and misled people by his post in the social networking site on baseless information.

Masud Miah of Kishorepur village in Birgaon union filed the case with Nabinagar police station on Tuesday.    

The case drew massive criticism from media persons, who alleged that Section 57 was being misused to harass journalists.

In his complaint, Masud Miah alleged that Khokan gave baseless information on Facebook, connecting his family members with an alleged incident of rape. This was defamatory and misleading, he said.

The officer-in-charge of Nabinagar police station, Md Aslam Sheikh, confirmed that a case had been filed under Section 57.

“It is under investigation. We are taking legal measures,” he said.

Simanto Khokan said his post was based on allegations he received from relatives of the plaintiff in the rape case. He alleged that the police forced Masud Miah to file the case against him.

Meanwhile, a court yesterday granted bail to local journalist Abdul Latif Morol in a case filed under Section 57 of the ICT Act over a Facebook post ‘demeaning’ State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Narayan Chandra Chanda, reports UNB from Khulna.

Senior Magistrate Nusrat Jabin of the Khulna Cognigance Court (Kha region) passed the order on a bond of Tk 10,000.

Earlier, on Tuesday, police arrested Latif, 40, Dumuria upazila correspondent of local newspaper ‘Dainik Probaha’, from his residence in Dumuria upazila in case.

In a separate development, the Police Headquarters (PHQ) issued an order yesterday regarding filing of cases under Section 57.

According to the order, from now on, police will have to take legal advice from the law department of the Police Headquarters before accepting any case under Section 57.

In the order, a four-point directive was issued to ensure that no innocent person is victimised under the law. According to the instructions, if any question arises about any complaint under the act, immediate action will have to be taken to verify it.

Earlier in the day, ruling Awami League (AL) General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said there was an urgent need to stop the misuse of Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act instead of repealing the provision, adds BSS.

He said this after inaugurating the construction work of the much talked metro rail track and its elevated station at Agargaon in the capital. Referring to arrest of a journalist Abdul Latif following a case filed against him under Section 57 of the ICT Act, the minister said, “It is the clear misuse of Section 57 as the case was lodged over a trifling matter. The misuse of this Section should be stopped instead of repealing the Section.”

“The Section has been included in the ICT Act aimed at controlling cyber crimes. But, nowadays the Section is being used over trifling matters. An intense scrutiny is necessary to stop such misuses,” he also said. He called upon the Information Minister to intervene to this end, saying, “I will not speak for cancelling the law (Section 57) but for stopping its misuse.”

 

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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