Don’t bring what’s going on outside into the court, HC to deputy attorney general

The High Court building
File photo

The High Court has postponed hearing on a bail plea of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) joint secretary general Aslam Chowdhury in a case filed at Shahbagh police station on charge of sabotage over the siege and rally of Hefazat-e-Islam a decade ago.

The HC bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md Aminul Islam came up with the order on Sunday.

At a stage a hearing deputy attorney general Md Sarwar Hossain said, “Arson-terrorism began again from yesterday (Saturday).

The court at that time told him, “Don’t bring up what’s going on outside into the court.”

The case was filed over the incident of the siege and rally of Hefazat-e-Islam in the capital on 6 May, 2013. Aslam Chowdhury sought for bail from the High Court after being failed at the lower court.

The court on 4 April last year issued a rule over the bail of the de facto opposition leader. The HC ordered the investigation officer to appear before the court to inform it about advancement made in investigation when the rule was being heard. Following this, IO of the case sub-inspector Harun Ar Rashid appeared before the court today, Sunday.

Additional attorney general SM Munir, deputy attorney general Md Sarwar Hossain and assistant attorney general Shahin Mirdha represented the state at the court while Mohammad Masud ul Haque was he defence lawyer.

Addressing the IO, the court said why are you submitting the report? When could you do that? IO Harun Ar Rashid said it will take time as many are accused in the case.

To this answer the court asked him the number of accused in the case. Defence lawyer Masud ul Haque said 180 names were mentioned in the FIR. All of them are on bail. Aslam Chowdhury’s name is not there in the case statement but he was shown arrested in the case on 12 October, 2021, some eight years after the incident, he added.

At this stage, additional attorney general SM Munir said there is an allegation against the accused (Aslam Chowdhury) of planning to dethrone the government through collusion with Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad.

At this the court said, “We are not talking about whether he went to he US or Israel.” The additional attorney general sought time after this.

Then deputy attorney general Md Sarwar Hossain said the High Court granted bail to Aslam Chowdhury in a case filed over the Hefazat incident. But the state appealed against the order at the Appellate Division. The chamber court of the Appellate Division stayed the HC order. Later, the Appellate Division also upheld the order. There are about 39 cases filed against Aslam Chowdhury.

Defence lawyer Masud ul Haque said Aslam Chowdhury is in bail in all the cases, including the one filed over the Mossad connection.

Then, addressing the IO, the court said can you complete the investigation by one month? Then attorney general SM Munir sought three months time. But the court granted two months for the investigation and put the bail hearing off for the period.

Aslam Chowdhury was arrested from the capital city’s Khilkhet area on 15 May, 2016. On the next day he was shown arrested under section 54 of the CrPC and placed on remand.

A treason case was filed at Gulshan police station against him on 26 May that year after getting approval from the home ministry. It was said in the case statement that he was planning to overthrow the government colluding with a Mossad agent.