The crime drama series 'Dark Justice', which aired on BTV in the nineties, had a character named Nicholas Marshall. Marshall is a judge. Marshall understood from personal conviction that the accused whom he was to judge was in fact a criminal. But the prosecution is failing to present the evidence needed to convict him. The judge was compelled to release the accused. When the acquitted man left the courtroom, Marshall would say to him, "Even if the law is blind, it can see in the dark." Marshall would then gather evidence in disguise and bring the perpetrator to justice.
The court of Bangladesh is not a TV series. There is no such thing as 'Dark Justice', or Nicholas Marshall. As a result, it is impossible to re-convict the accused who was acquitted due to loopholes in the law. It is a matter of great concern that the terrible accused involved in drug trafficking are being acquitted only due to the negligence of the officials. Those accused are getting involved in old business again after release.
In the last 20 years, out of 23,535 cases filed by the Narcotics Control Department, all the accused have been acquitted. The number of accused in these cases is 26,138. The accused were arrested red handed along with drugs, the case statement and charge-sheet said. But the allegations could not be substantiated in the end due to various reasons including weakness in the statement and investigation, failure to produce witnesses and so on.
The crime could not be proved due to the discrepancy between the statements of the prosecution witnesses and the statements of the plaintiffs and the campaigners. Again, many officials have focused on drug recovery but have shown less interest in the investigation. As a result, they submit charge sheet carelessly in the court.
It is seen that from 2001 to 2020, a total of 46,907 cases have been settled. In other words, the Department of Narcotics Control and the state have failed to prove about half (50.17 per cent) of the cases. Just as the antidote to a bee sting lies in honey, the solution to this problem lies in the acquittal verdict.
The court delivers its observations regarding the verdicts in most of the cases. The court pointed out various weaknesses of the investigation including failure to bring acceptable witnesses and negligence of the plaintiff and the investigating officer. The accused in the drug case will not be acquitted if these issues are taken into account. But first of all we need goodwill. What is needed is a strong morale to disregard the orders of the powerful and the temptation of money.