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High Court slams lower courts for abusing power on remand orders

  • Published at 05:17 pm September 1st, 2021
High Court-HC-court
File photo of the High Court Dhaka Tribune

The court will also issue guidelines on how quickly a hearing date for bail should be set

The High Court has condemned the questionable practice of approving remand prayers by the lower courts in the country without following the guidelines set by the Supreme Court.

“A civilized society cannot run like this,” a virtual High Court bench of Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar made the observation during a hearing on Wednesday.

Advocate ZI Khan Panna, Mojibur Rahman, Syeda Nasrin and Md Shahinuzzaman stood in favour of an Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) petition seeking an order from the High Court on the legitimacy of repeatedly remanding an actor. 

Deputy Attorney General Abu Yahya Dulal and Assistant Attorney General Mizanur Rahman represented the state.

Advocate ZI Khan Panna said: “There are Supreme Court directives on remand. The lower court was asked to comply with the instructions from the Supreme Court. But these instructions are not followed in general cases, except in the cases of war criminals.”

In reply, the court said: “There are guidelines about remand. But no one is following them.”

Also Read - Pori Moni seeks bail in High Court

Advocate ZI Khan Panna then requested the High Court to issue an order to ensure that lower courts followed the remand guidelines.

The issue was raised against the background of courts ordering three separate remands for Dhallywood actor Pori Moni.

Neither Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure nor the Appellate Division’s guidelines were followed during the remand order against Pori Moni, her lawyer Mojibur Rahman said.

The High Court bench said it would summon the remand prayer documents of the actor to see whether the lower court had abused its powers. “We will summon the investigating officer of the case and the case dockets.”

The High Court bench will examine the decision, call the remand record from the magistrate and ask for a satisfactory explanation for their decision.

“If they fail to answer, we can call for an appearance then,” he said.

The High Court bench also said it would issue guidelines on how quickly a hearing date for bail should be set.

Also Read - Dhallywood star Pori Moni released from jail on bail in drugs case

Assistant Attorney General Mizanur Rahman told the court: “The bail part of the petition has become invalid. Questions have been raised in court about her remand. Although she was remanded three times, it has already ended.”

In reply, the High Court bench asked: “Why did the magistrate abuse his powers? Was there a justification, after a four-day remand, to grant a third remand?”

“The investigating officer applied for remand without any information, which you [judicial court] granted. This cannot happen in a civilized society,” the court added.

Later the court fixed 2pm to deliver its verdict.

However, when the hearing re-commenced, Deputy Attorney General Abu Yahya said: “The Attorney General will hold a hearing in this case. I have talked to him. He [the attorney general] said not today [Wednesday]."

Dispute over Pori Moni’s bail and remand

The controversy surrounding Pori Moni’s bail began when the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court (CMM) rejected her bail application on August 19. 

Later, when the Dhallywood actor filed a bail plea with the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court, the court fixed September 13 for a hearing on the plea. 

Pori Moni’s lawyer then challenged the validity of the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's order on August 22 and applied for an interim bail to the High Court on August 25.

Also Read - 26 days of imprisonment

On August 26, the High Court issued a rule asking why a speedy hearing would not be held on the bail application relating to the drugs case filed against Pori Moni, setting Wednesday for the next hearing.

The Dhallywood actor was arrested on August 4 when the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided her Banani home and seized bottles of liquor, yaba pills and LSD blots.

RAB filed the drugs case against Pori Moni and her aide Dipu with Banani police on August 6.

She was taken on remand on three different occasions for a total of seven days.

On Tuesday, a Dhaka court granted Pori Moni bail upon a bond of Tk 50,000. She was released from the Women’s Central Jail in Kashimpur, Gazipur, yesterday morning, a day after she secured bail in a drugs case.

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