In a first for Bangladesh, Magura chief judicial magistrate Mohammad Ziaur Rahman gave a fictitious name, Kalpa, to a college student seeking justice and announced the verdict on Monday without mentioning her real name, reports news agency UNB.
This is the first time in the history of the country’s judicial system that a verdict has been announced using a pseudonym of the plaintiff. Lawyers hailed the verdict as historic.
Convict Jubayer Hossain has been sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined Tk 100,000.
The victim will get the amount of fine, the court said.
Court sources said, ‘Kalpa’ had an affair with Jubayer who took some personal photos of her on his mobile phone.
As there’s no precedent for such a verdict in Bangladesh, the judge cited the Indian Supreme Court’s handling of the ‘Nirvaya’ rape case and the British Supreme Court using pseudonyms for terror accused
The victim terminated their relationship when she learned about the matter. Jubayer tried to blackmail her and threatened to circulate the pictures online if she did not resume their relationship.
He released the photos online as ‘Kalpa’ did not bow to his pressure. She filed a case with police on 20 April 2017.
Plaintiff’s lawyer Wazeda Begum said, “As there’s no precedent for such a verdict in Bangladesh, the judge cited the Indian Supreme Court’s handling of the ‘Nirvaya’ rape case and the British Supreme Court using pseudonyms for terror accused.”
Shafiquzzaman Bachchu, a lawyer for the accused, said Bangladesh is lagging behind compared to developed countries in women empowerment and freedom.
“Britain has banned revealing victim’s identity. Even in neighbouring India, it’s forbidden to reveal the identity of the victim of sexual crimes including rape,” he said.
He noted that according to Section 14 of the Prevention of Violence against Women and Children Act-2000, disclosure of the identity of the victim is prohibited.
“Some are abiding by the rule while others are flouting it. Such a verdict without disclosing the victim’s identity in this situation is certainly a positive development,” he said.