The cases were filed by journalist Masuda Bhatti and Jubo Mohila League Farzana Yasmin Lita in Dhaka and Jamalpur courts, respectively
The High Court has granted a five-month advance bail to former caretaker government adviser Barrister Mainul Hosein in two defamation cases filed in Dhaka and Jamalpur.
The bench of Justices Muhammad Abdul Hafiz and Mohi Uddin Shamim accepted his bail petition on Sunday after Mainul appeared in court and submitted it, said Supreme Court Bar Association President Advocate Zainul Abedin.
Earlier in the day, Dhaka’s Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Muhammad Asaduzzaman Noor had issued an arrest warrant against Mainul hours after journalist Masuda Bhatti filed a defamation suit against him for hurling abusive words at her during a television talk show.
Around the same time, Jamalpur Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court’s Judge Solaiman Kabir also issued another warrant for the former MP’s arrest in the second libel case.
This case was filed over similar charges by Jamalpur’s Jubo Mohila League unit Convener Farzana Yasmin Lita, who in the case details said that Mainul’s behaviour towards Masuda was very offensive, distasteful and dishonours women.
Farzana also demanded Tk20,000 crore in damages from Mainul, for hurling abusive words at Masuda, acting editor of Dainik Amader Notun Somoy, during the TV talk show.
Meanwhile, another Tk5,000-crore defamation case was also filed against Mainul by one Advocate Maksuda Begum at the Kurigram Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court on Sunday morning on similar charges.
After taking the charges into cognizance, the court also summoned Mainul to appear before it, said Public Prosecutor Abraham Lincoln.
Barrister Mainul has been facing a firestorm of anger and criticism on the internet and mass media since Tuesday night, when he called journalist Masuda “characterless” in Ekattor Journal, a talk show hosted by Mithila Farzana and aired live on Ekattor TV.
He also hurled other abusive words at Masuda, while shouting and telling her to ask questions like an “educated and gentle woman.”
Mainul was connected via videoconference to the show. During the conversation, Masuda had referred to a video that recently went viral on social media and showed Mainul addressing a program of Islami Chhatra Shibir, expressing solidarity with the Jamaat-e-Islami student wing.
The former caretaker government adviser’s verbal attack on her came right after Masuda said that many were calling him the Jamaat representative in the Jatiya Oikya Front and asked whether it was true.
Since then, there has been an outpour of anger on the social media about Mainul, who is one of the sponsors of Jatiya Oikya Front – a new alliance which is led by Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain andhas BNP as a major element.
On Saturday, 55 editors and senior journalists from both print and electronic media also demanded apology from Mainulfor his abusive behaviour against Masuda Bhatti.
In a statement, they said that no one had the right to call anyone “characterless” when faced with a legitimate journalistic query.