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13 April, 2018 01:15:25 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 13 April, 2018 02:48:03 PM
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Bail forgery rides on back of ‘lenient’ punishment

MUHAMMAD YEASIN
Bail forgery rides on back 
of ‘lenient’ punishment

Cases of bail forgery have been increasing across the country, as influential persons are involved in the misdeed to earn money the easy way. Despite the High Court's strong stand against bail forgery, it has not stopped due to lack of exemplary punishment of offenders, experts opined. They said the High Court should set a timeframe for conducting investigation and completing trial proceedings against offenders, and ensure exemplary punishment, so that no one can dare commit such an offence in future.

Sometimes criminals hide real information from lawyers. A section of beneficiary people are involved in making bail petitions by using false documents, sources said.

In the latest development, a High Court bench yesterday (Thursday) cancelled the bail order of an accused. The person had secured bail from the HC earlier by submitting a false document. It was in connection with a case filed against him under the Narcotics Control Act.

The HC bench, comprising Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Khasruzzaman, also asked the CID to investigate the matter.

Assistant Attorney General Md Ali Zinnah told reporters that accused Asraful Islam secured bail from the HC on February 25, after mentioning 550 grams of heroin as only 48 grams in his bail petition. The HC cancelled his bail and rejected his bail petition after the real information was revealed before it, the state lawyer said.

Talking to this correspondent, Supreme Court Registrar General Md. Zakir

Hossain said they have been taking action against the offenders in line with High Court directives.

Powerful persons are behind this, he noted. They are involved in illegal business and make large amounts of money. They seek release from jail at the earliest possible time, Hossain said.

In response to a question, he said they were trying to eradicate the problem.

“After conducting investigation in line with High Court directives, we have filed cases against those involved in the bail forgery,” he noted.

Former law minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed said exemplary punishment should be given to those involved.

“The High Court should set a timeframe to complete the investigation and trial proceedings of the cases. If the court ensures exemplary punishment for the offenders, such cases might be reduced. Otherwise, it will not stop,” he noted.

The senior jurist also said that people would lose faith in the judiciary, if the High Court does not take stern action against the offenders.

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president Advocate Joynul Abedin told The Independent that they were against touts and cheats.

“We don’t want to see the involvement of any lawyer in bail forgery. We will take tough action if anyone is found guilty,” he said.

“We have already formed an eight-member committee, headed by vice-president of the SCBA, to look into the matter. If anyone is found committing the misdeed, stern action will be taken against him in line with the committee’s recommendations,” Abedin said.

It was known from the case statement of Asraful Islam that the police had on October 17 in 2016 filed a case against Asraful Islam with the Godagari police station in Rajshahi, after finding 550 grams of heroin in his possession.

On November 29 in 2016, the police submitted the chargesheet against him before the special judge’s court of Rajshahi where the case is now under trial.

But the accused secured bail from the HC on February 25 this year. While the case document reached the lower court of Rajshahi, the judge identified the forge document by which Asraful Islam had been granted bail by the HC.

After that, the lower court judge sent the case document before the Supreme Court registrar general and finally the HC cancelled his bail order after reprimanding the accused person.

On January 31 this year, the HC bench of Justice Sheikh Abdul Awal and Justice Md Khasruzzaman directed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and the Supreme Court registrar general to investigate a fictitious bail order that was placed before it during hearing of a petition filed by an accused seeking bail in a case filed in Chittagong in January last year, over possession of 22,000 pieces of Yaba tablets.

While the court was hearing a bail petition filed by Rafique, one of the accused in the case, it was presented with the forged copy of an HC order granting bail to Selim Uddin, another accused in the case.

The court became suspicious when Rafique’s lawyers — Mohammad Rezaul Karim and Mohammad Azizur Rahman Mishu — placed before it Selim’s bail order issued earlier by the same court.

Since the judges of the court could not recollect granting bail to Selim in the Yaba possession case before, they called in four court officials — tasked with typing, attaching, comparing and signing HC orders — to verify whether the bail order was a forged one.  

After scrutinising the document, the officials verified that Selim’s bail order was not prepared by them, the DAG said, adding that the HC then ordered the CID and the SC registrar general to investigate the incident and take steps.

When asked, Rafique’s two lawyers told the HC that they had received the HC order in question from Advocate Mozaffar — a lawyer for Selim Uddin in Cox’s Bazar, DAG Fazlur also said.

When contacted, Advocate Azizur Rahman Mishu, one of Rafique’s two lawyers, told this correspondent that when they received the document, they did not realise that it was a forged order of the HC.

On January 8 last year, police in Chittagong city arrested five people with 22,000 pieces of Yaba tablets in their possession. The arrestees were Apan Majumder Rupesh from Noakhali; Deepak Chandra, Selim Uddin and Rafique from Chittagong; and Shirin Sultana Aakhi from Comilla.

Police filed a case against them the same day with Bayezid Bostami Police Station.

Earlier, on August 3 last year, the then Chief justice Surendra Kumar Sinha suspended High Court bench officer Md Rafiqul Islam on allegation of forging a bail order in favour of an accused of possessing 50,000 yaba tablets.

A departmental case was also filed against Md Rafiqul Islam for alleged misconduct and corruption, said a notification was issued by the Supreme Court registrar general.

On July 19 last year, Justice Md Shawkat Hossain and Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder directed the registrar general to suspend Rafiq and file a criminal case against him for facilitating the release of Boktar Ahammed of Balu Khali, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazaar, an accused in a yaba case by forging a bail order, although the case was not heard.

The forgery by the bench officer was exposed when the bail petition of Nurul Alam Titu was moved citing Boktar Ahammed’s forged bail order that completely surprised the bench as Boktar’s bail petition was neither heard nor moved before it.

On June 26, 2016, Cox Bazar police arrested Boktar with 50,000 yaba tablets.

Besides that, earlier on July 31 last year, the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim directed police to immediately arrest the five accused of the Omar Faruk murder case in Bogra for making a fake court bail order.

The accused managed a photocopy of a false HC order, which showed that they got eight weeks’ anticipatory bail on June 8 of that year in the murder case, although their bail petition was actually rejected by the court on the same day.

The accused are Md Tayab Ali, Montazer Rahman, Minhaz, Md Sanaul Sana and Md Mizan from different villages under Shibganj upazila in Bogra, who are now out of jail.

The HC also asked the Supreme Court registrar general to find out the persons responsible for providing the fake bail order by conducting an inquiry and to file a criminal case against the people involved.

Advocate Matiur Rahman Uzzal, counsel for the accused, told reporters that the five accused came to his chamber at the Supreme Court Bar Association and gave the photocopy of the fake bail order.

They requested him to withdraw a certified copy of the bail order from the concerned office of the HC, he said.

When he told them that the HC did not grant them bail in the case but had rejected their bail prayer, the accused left the court area, the lawyer added.

Omar Faruk of Dobila village at Shibganj upazila was killed on March 5 last year.

His brother Md Ferdaus Hossain filed the case with the Shibganj Police Station on March 7 against the accused in this connection.

Earlier, on July 6 last year, the same bench of the High Court ordered the accused in a case to surrender before a lower court within seven days, after it emerged that he had obtained bail by furnishing false documents.

The HC bench came up with the order after cancelling the bail order for the accused, Humayun Kabir Junu, and asked the Registrar General of the Supreme Court to file a case to identify those who were involved in the forgery.

Police filed a case against Junu and Shariar Ali, alias Liton, on November 13, 2016, accusing the two of being involved in illegal arms trading in the Mugda area of Dhaka.

After they were arrested in connection with the case, Junu secured bail on February 27. Liton’s counsel subsequently also applied for bail on his behalf, citing Junu’s release.

However, upon reviewing both bail pleas, it was revealed that Junu had submitted false documents. As such, the court cancelled the bail for Junu while also dismissing Liton’s plea.

HC should give timeframe in completing investigation and trail proceeding of the cases as well as ensure exemplary punishment to eradicate problem: Shafique Ahmed said.

“We don’t want to see the involvement of any lawyers in bail forgery,” said the SCBA president. “An influential quarters was involved in bail forgery,” felt the SC registrar general.

On August 3 last year, SC suspended HC bench officer Md Rafiqul Islam on allegation of forging a bail order.

IK/SI

 

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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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.

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