Contempt of court: Ex-judicial magistrate secures bail after getting 30-day jail

High court
File photo

Three hours after sentencing the former chief judicial magistrate of Cumilla, Sohel Rana, to a 30-day jail, the High Court granted him a 30-day bail on the condition that he would file an appeal petition against the verdict.

A HC bench of Justice Md Badruzzaman and Justice SM Masud Hossain passed the orders on Thursday, responding to a contempt of court charge. 

The court also fined the former chief judicial magistrate Tk 5,000. He was ordered to surrender before the court of chief judicial magistrate in Dhaka within seven days of the verdict.

Shah Manjurul Haque, lawyer of Sohel Rana, told Prothom Alo that the bail order essentially invalidated his client’s obligation to surrender before the court within the stipulated period. 

Now, they will file an appeal petition with the Appellate Division on Sunday, challenging the sentence order, added the lawyer.  

Earlier, Sohel Rana presented an explanation regarding the overlooking of an order of the Supreme Court in a case. As the High Court was not satisfied with the explanation, it issued contempt of court rule against Sohel Rana.

The High Court pronounced its verdict upon holding a hearing on the rule.

Lawyer Pranay Kanti Roy was the prosecutor while Shah Manjurul Haque was the defence lawyer.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, later, Pranay Kanti Roy said Sohel Rana sought unconditional apology from the court. But turning down the apology plea, the High Court handed him 30 days simple imprisonment and ordered him to deposit Tk 5,000 as fine to the registrar general of the Supreme Court, he added.

Pranay Kanti Roy further said currently Sohel Rana is attached with the law ministry as an additional district judge.


Lawyers said a case was lodged against a certain Mamun Chowdhury and his wife Ria Akhter at Kotwali Model police station in Cumilla under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Act on 27 March in 2017.

The High Court on 4 November in 2018 issued a rule as the couple filed an appeal challenging legality of the proceedings of the case. At the same time, the court stayed the case proceedings until settlement of the rule on 6 March in 2019.

Despite the stay order of the High Court, the then chief judicial magistrate in Cumilla, Sohel Rana, framed charges in the case on 10 April, in presence of Mamun in the court. As Ria was absent at the court, she was announced as a fugitive.

In this context, Mamun appealed to the High Court seeking its directives to Sohel Rana to appear before the court and explain his position on disregarding the High Court order.

Later, the HC summoned Sohel Rana on 14 August and asked him to explain his position on 21 August appearing before the court. He appeared before the court and submitted his explanation later.

The High Court on 28 August issued a suo moto rule as the explanation was not deemed satisfactory by the court. At the same time, he was ordered to appear before the court again on 9 October.

Sohel Rana withdrew the indictment order of the case following the contempt of the court order on 31 August.

Following the rule, Sohel Rana sought unconditional apology but turning down the appeal, the court awarded him imprisonment.