The court has framed charges against nine persons, including Prothom Alo editor Matiur Rahman, regarding the death of Naimul Abrar, student of Dhaka Residential Model College.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions judge KM Imrul Kayes issued orders in this regard on Thursday. Charges have been dropped against the Kishor Alo editor Anisul Hoque. Hearing of the case will commence from 14 December.
The defendants, including the Prothom Alo editor, declared their innocence in court when the charges were being framed. Lawyers Ahsanul Haque Samaji and Prashanta Kumar Karmakar represented the Prothom Alo editor in court. The plaintiff was represented by lawyer Omar Faruk.
Defence lawyer Ahsanul Haque Samaji told newspersons, "We had appealed for charges to be dropped against the accused, including Matiur Rahman. Prothom Alo editor was not present at the spot on the day that the incident occurred and so we had expected he would be released from the charges."
Matiur Rahman had been accused in the case even though he wasn't present at the spot on the day of the incident
He said they would file an appeal with the Supreme Court against this order.
An event commemorating the Kishor Alo anniversary had been held on 1 November at Dhaka Residential Model College grounds. Naimul Abrar had touched a live wire, was electrocuted and died.
Naimul's father Mujibur Rahman on 6 November filed a case in this regard with the Dhaka CMM court. The police on 16 January submitted their investigation report to court, against 10 persons including the Prothom Alo editor.
The hearing of the charge framing ended on 13 October. An appeal was submitted that day to drop charges against the eight persons including the Prothom Alo and Kishor Alo editors. The court fixed 28 October as the date to issue its directives. On 27 October the date was shifted to 12 November.
Prothom Alo editor's lawyer Ahsanul Haque Samaji, speaking to the media after the charges were framed on Thursday, said during the hearing they had pointed out the discrepancies of the case in court.
He said first an unnatural death case had been filed with the Mohammadpur police station. Five days later another case was filed with the court. And the court issued directives to investigate the matter and submit a report, not taking into cognizance the case of unnatural death filed with the police station. This was in contradiction to Section 205 (D) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The lower court should have taken up the case only after receiving the investigation report of the unnatural death case. But orders for investigation were issued in contradiction to the law.
Ahsanul Haque Samaji further said that the accusations brought about regarding the death of Naimul Abrar can be tried under the tort law. In no way can it be a criminal case. There was no list of witnesses which was a requirement. Matiur Rahman had been accused in the case even though he wasn't present at the spot on the day of the incident.
Others against whom the charges have been framed are Prothom Alo's head of events and activation Kabir Bakul, executive Shahporan Tushar, executive Subhashish Pramanik, Kishor Alo's senior associate editor Mohitul Alam, the decoration and generator supplier firm's Jasim Uddin, Mosharraf Hossain, Sujon and Kamrul Howladar.