The court also ordered that the real criminal be identified
The High Court has ordered a judicial inquiry into the incarceration of one Manik Hawlader instead of the real convict Manik Mia in a drugs case.
Shariatpur’s chief judicial magistrate passed an order to finish the investigation within 30 working days and submit the report to the Supreme Court Registrar General, reports UNB.
The High Court bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam issued the order on Monday after hearing a writ petition filed by Hawlader’s wife Salma Begum.
The court also ordered that the real criminal be identified. Sirajganj Special Tribunal-1 and the district’s police chief have been ordered to assist in the investigation.
April 12 has been set as the next hearing date.
In an interim rule, the court asked the authorities concerned to explain why the arrest and incarceration of Hawlader should not be declared illegal. Advocate Partha Sarathi represented Hawlader in the court while Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy stood for the state.
Advocate Sarathi said four men were accused in a case filed over the seizure of 668 bottles of phensedyl from a vehicle on June 2, 2009, at Sirajganj’s Salanga police station. One of the accused, Manik Mia, was arrested the next day.
Mia secured bail from the High Court that year. In the bail documents, he named Manik Hawlader’s parents Nazrul Islam and Rejia Begum as his parents. He mentioned Hawlader’s address of Alam Chan Bepari Kandi village under Sakhipur union of Ward 9 of Shariatpur as his own.
Mia went into hiding after securing bail.
A Sirajganj court on February 11, 2019, jailed Mia and three others for four years in the case.
The fraud came to light after Bhedarganj police arrested Hawlader on November 28 last year.
It has been learned that Mia is the son of Ibrahim Mridha and Lutfa Begum of Malotkandi village under Sakhipur union of Bhedorganj. Both the victim and the convict hail from the same Sakhipur union but their villages are different.
Hawlader’s wife moved the High Court on March 2 demanding her husband’s release and damages. She submitted a letter from Sakhipur union chairman detailing the different identities of Mia and Hawlader.
It mentions Ibrahim Mridha as the father of the convict.
On October 4 last year, Habibur Rahman, an innocent 80-year-old man was wrongly sent to jail in a case of mistaken identity.
Police picked him from his home in Galachipa upazila of Patuakhali instead of the real convict who had been found guilty in a cheque dishonour case filed by an NGO.
The real convict, having the same, had been awarded one-year jail sentence and a fine of Tk2.4 lakh in absentia on March 25, 2018 by Patuakhali Joint District Sessions Judge's Court.
Acting on the arrest warrant after almost two years later, police arrested and sent the 80-year-old innocent Habibur Rahman, who had no connection with the case, to jail on October 4 last week.
Police say the mistake occurred as the father's name of the accused and the innocent man were same too.
Earlier, a resident of Tangail, Jahalam, had been in jail since February 2016 in 33 cases in place of the real accused, Abu Salek, on charges of embezzling Tk18 crore from Sonali Bank.
Jahalam was freed from jail on February 4, 2019 after the High Court acquitted him in 26 cases in which charges had been pressed.
A report revealed that a "mistake" by the investigation officers of the anti-graft watchdog resulted in the wrongful conviction of Jahalam.