The Supreme Court yesterday scrapped a High Court order that granted bail to a superintendent of police (SP), who was earlier sentenced to 35 years' rigorous imprisonment by the lower court in a bribery case.
The Appellate Division of the SC also directed Mostafa Kamal, the then SP of Habiganj, to surrender to the trial court within two weeks. Moreover, it overruled the HC order that suspended the jail sentence of Mostafa in the case.
The five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain came up with the order after hearing an appeal filed by the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told The Daily Star that Mostafa would be sent to jail to serve the sentence after his surrender to the lower court.
According to the case statement, police detained Salahuddin Ahmed, owner of SA Paribahan Ltd, and some of his employees in Habiganj on December 22, 2002, while the latter were going to Sylhet with Tk 20 lakh. Asked why they were arrested, Mostafa told them it was for security reasons. Police forcibly took the money and did not return it.
The law enforcers also filed three cases against Salahuddin under the Money Laundering Prevention Act, Narcotics Control Act, and Women and Children Repression Prevention Act and demanded Tk 30 lakh more for Salahuddin's release.
After he was freed on bail, Salauddin filed the bribery case against Mostafa and Sub-Inspector Md Wahed Miah on November 20, 2003. A Dhaka court on December 19 last year sentenced Mostafa to 35 years' rigorous imprisonment, but acquitted Wahed from the charges.
Following an appeal, the HC on January 22 granted bail to Mostafa and also suspended his jail sentence. But a week later, on January 29, ACC filed an appeal with the SC challenging the HC order.
While giving directives yesterday, the apex court also asked both the defence and ACC to take steps so that the appeal filed by Mostafa is heard and disposed of by the HC in six months. Mostafa can seek bail if the appeal is not settled in six months, it ruled. Rokanuddin Mahmud appeared for Mostafa.