POST TIME: 5 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Shahidul Alam’s arrest
HC bench feels ‘embarrassed’ to hear bail plea
Staff Reporter

HC bench feels 
to hear bail plea

A High Court (HC) bench yesterday felt “embarrassed” to hear the bail petition of the photographer Shahidul Alam, who was arrested under the Information Communication Technology (ICT) Act. The HC’s vacation bench of Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Khandaker Diliurujjaman, however, did not disclose the reason for its embarrassment and sent Sahidul’s petition to the Chief Justice for taking a decision on the matter.

After receiving the copy of the order, the Chief Justice will form a third bench for the final decision over the bail petition, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told reporters.

Alam said that there was no scope to take Shahidul’s comments lightly as he was arrested for “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”.

While the AG appeared for the prosecution in the case, barristers Sarah Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua defended Shahidul.

On Monday, the same bench had deferred the hearing on the bail plea till yesterday after the attorney general moved a time petition.

Shahidul’s counsels had filed the bail petition in the HC on August 28, saying that he should be granted bail as he was ill. They also assured the court that Sahidul would not leave the country if granted bail and that he would face trial proceedings.

According to the case history, the Detective Branch (DB) of police had picked up Sahidul from his home on August 5. After interrogating him for seven days, the DB produced him in court on August 12. A metropolitan magistrate then sent Shahidul to Dhaka Central Jail without hearing his lawyer.

In his statement to the magistrate’s court, Shahidul said he was tortured physically and mentally in custody since his arrest.

Shahidul was detained under the controversial Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act for allegedly provoking the students’ movement for safety on roads.

International personalities, including several Nobel laureates, have described Shahidul as a “prisoner of conscience” and demanded his immediate release.

Earlier on August 7, in response to a writ petition filed by Sahidul’s wife, Rahnuma Ahmed, the HC had directed the authorities concerned to immediately send Shahidul to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for medical examination and submit a report by 10:30 am on August 9.

Consequently, the BSMMU authorities formed a four-member medical board, which reported that Shahidul was physically and mentally sound.