East West Media Group MD among the accused
Patiya MP and Parliamentary Whip Shamsul Haque Chowdhury on Wednesday filed a Tk500 crore defamation suit against 11 journalists, including Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and East West Media Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir.
Patiya Bar Association President and Senior Advocate Deepak Kumar Shil filed the case on behalf of the whip with the Patiya Joint District Judge’s Court in Chittagong.
The other defendants in the case are Bangladesh Pratidin Editor and News24 CEO Naeem Nizam, Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haque Milon, Daily Sun Editor Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, Banglanews24 Editor Jewel Mazhar, Bangladesh Pratidin reporters Saidur Rahman Rimon, Riaz Haider, and Mohammad Selim, Kaler Kantho reporter SM Rana, and one other.
According to the case statement, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and his son Sayem Sobhan Anvi are accused of publishing news with false and baseless information about Shamsul Haque Chowdhury and his son Nazmul Karim Chowdhury Sharun out of personal resentment and hostility.
More than 100 false news reports in Bashundhara Group's newspapers, online and on TV had caused Shamsul Haque Chowdhury to be defamed socially and politically, causing him physical, mental and financial loss.
The MP has filed a compensation case against the publication of the false and defamatory news out of respect for the law, the statement said.
Nazmul Karim Chowdhury Sharun in a Facebook post said: “Our conscience had been preventing us from filing cases against journalists, because journalists can do nothing outside the newspaper owner's directions. But we have no choice other than taking strict legal action against such organized lies.
“I will also file a complaint with the Press Council,” he added.
He further said newspapers should not be used to serve personal agendas.
Whip Shamsul Haque Chowdhury could not be reached for comment.