• Thursday, October 23, 2014

Retiring judge forgot oath

Chief justice asks govt to take action over his case disposal spree

Ashutosh Sarkar

The chief justice has decided to take action against a recently retired Dhaka court judge, Faruk Ahmed, for hastily acquitting dozens of accused before going into retirement.

Many of these accused were acquitted in violation of rules, a Supreme Court source said. 

Justice SK Sinha, who had been discharging the functions of Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain in the latter's absence, yesterday asked the law ministry to take action against Faruk.

Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star last night that his office would take action against Faruk today, as per the SC's advice.  

“Faruk Ahmed acquitted all the accused of 24 cases in 18 days, which was a farce in the name of trial. Wait and see what action I take against him,” he said.  

Faruk retired as judge of the Public Safety Disturbance Crime Prevention Tribunal in Dhaka on June 26.

The chief justice, who went to Sri Lanka on an official visit on August 7, returned home yesterday morning and joined office in the afternoon.

According to an August 7 report in the Bangla daily Jugantor, Faruk's court finished recording statements from all witnesses, cross examinations of accused and arguments of 10 cases in a single day.

He disposed of 20 cases in four to 10 days after finishing the arguments, the report said.

Faruk concluded the cross examination of the accused even before recording witnesses' statements, which is contrary to the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The report said Faruk granted bail to 45 accused, including drug peddlers, in June and acquitted the accused of 77 cases in six months. Besides, he granted bail to 101 accused between January and May this year.

Last year, he disposed of 79 cases and acquitted the accused of 60 cases and sentenced the accused of 19 cases, according to the report.

Following the report, Justice SK Sinha went to the Public Safety Disturbance Crime Prevention Tribunal on August 7 and confiscated the files of the related cases.

An SC source said Justice Sinha, the senior most judge of the Appellate Division, found some of the allegations to be true.

The Daily Star could not contact Faruk for his comment.

But when Jugantor contacted him on August 6, the day before it published the report, he said he could not comment without going through the records.

The Jugantor report also cited a High Court rule that said lower court judges will not, in the last three months before their retirement, deliver verdicts in such cases that may spark controversy. 

Following an investigation overseen by Justice Sinha, the SC registrar's office yesterday sent a letter to the law secretary, asking him to take appropriate action against Faruk Ahmed.

Asked, SC Registrar AKM Shamsul Islam said he was not aware of Justice Sinha's findings.

Last month, the chief justice decided to send three lower court judges into forced retirement for misconduct and corruption while discharging duties.

They are Chairman of First Labour Court of Chittagong and former District and Sessions Judge of Dhaka AKM Ishtiaque Hossain, Additional District Judge of Jessore Mizanur Rahman, and Joint District Judge of Lalmonirhat Salauddin Mohammad Akram.

Published: 12:02 am Monday, August 11, 2014

Last modified: 8:49 pm Monday, August 11, 2014

TAGS: Supreme Court chief justice forgot oath case disposal Dhaka court judge

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