Mobile court act contrary to CrPC provisions
Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha yesterday said some provisions of the mobile court law were contradictory to a few sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
“I will give you a chart showing that the provisions of the mobile court act are against some sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure and those should be amended. We will hold the trial under the law. We will not go beyond the law,” he told Attorney General Mahbubey Alam.
The chief justice was presiding over a six-member bench of the Appellate Division of the SC while dealing with three leave to appeal petitions filed by the government challenging a High Court verdict. The HC in the verdict in May declared unconstitutional the rules under which the mobile courts are run by executive magistrates.
The attorney general prayed to the SC for adjourning the hearing on the petitions saying that he needed time to take preparations for placing arguments.
The SC then adjourned the hearing and extended its earlier stay order on the HC verdict till October 10, clearing the way for the executive magistrates to run mobile courts till that day.
During the proceedings of the day, the attorney general told the SC that mobile courts should be run to stop different types of crimes, including fishing by gill nets.
Justice Sinha said the SC had earlier directed the authorities concerned to ban the use of gill nets in fishing.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said his home district (Munshiganj) was near the bank of the Padma and gill nets were being used there to catch fish. That is why mobile courts should be operated to stop such activities.
The CJ said what the court could do if law enforcers were not sincere in stopping such activities.
“We [the judges] don't get to smell hilsa,” he told the attorney general.
“I have heard that you [Mahbubey Alam] are going to contest the next national election and you are now visiting the area. You are compromising [with the local administration]. Remember, it will be better for the government if the hearings on the petitions [leave to appeal petitions] are held promptly,” the CJ added.
SC ORDERS TESTING SPIRULINA
The SC yesterday ordered the director general of the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) to form a three-member expert committee, led by a professor of Dhaka University's food and nutrition department, to examine Spirulina, a food supplement, imported from Malaysia nearly two years ago.
During hearing an appeal on the matter, the SC also asked the director general of DGDA to submit the probe report of the committee to its chamber judge within next two weeks.
The appeal was filed by the government challenging a HC order that had directed it [government] to release 7,33,980 pieces of Spirulina which were seized by a DGDA mobile court in February last year.
The Spirulina was imported by Daehsan (Bangladesh) Private Limited, an importing firm, from Malaysia on September 10, 2015, advocate Zaman Akhter Bulbul, lawyer for the importer, told The Daily Star.
He said the mobile court had seized the Spirulina on February 4 last year claiming that it was a drug, although his client imported it as a food supplement.
The mobile court also fined the company Tk 2 lakh and jailed its Managing Director Faisal Bin Ilias for three months in default of payment of the fine.
Following a writ petition filed by Daehsan (Bangladesh) Private limited, the HC on May 18 last year stayed the mobile court verdict and ordered the government to release the seized Spirulina to the importer.
The SC stayed the HC order after the government had filed the appeal with the apex court, Zaman said, adding that his client filed a petition with the SC seeking its order for releasing the seized Spirulina.