Was the UNO blind while sentencing?
The High Court yesterday expressed strong resentment over the sentencing of a person by a mobile court when the man was already in police custody.
The HC, while hearing a rule issued earlier about the incident, also questioned how a mobile court could do that.
"Was the executive magistrate [UNO of Lohagara, Chittagong] blind while sentencing Belal Uddin?" Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain asked. UNO Mahbub Alam, Officer-in-Charge of Lohagara Police Station Mohammad Shahjahan and sub-inspectors Helal Khan and Wasim Mia were present at the court.
The other member of the bench, Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan, asked the same question.
Advocate Farjana Sharmin, who stood for the UNO and the police officers, could not give any satisfactory explanation.
The HC bench is set to pass an order on the matter today and has asked the UNO and the policemen to appear before it.
On October 14 last year, a mobile court led by UNO Mahbub sentenced Md Belal Uddin of Adhunanagar Sardarnipra of Lohagara upazila to eight months' imprisonment on charge of possessing some cannabis.
Following a writ petition filed by Belal, the HC on January 14 summoned the UNO, OC Shahjahan and sub-inspectors Helal and Wasim to explain yesterday their conducts.
The HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain why the jail sentence should not be scrapped and why legal action should not be taken against the officials responsible for sentencing him.
In the rule the court also asked the UNO and the three police officers to explain why they should not be directed to give Tk 20 lakh in compensation to Belal.
Citing the writ petition, Belal's lawyer Manzill Murshid told this correspondent police arrested his client on October 13 last year in a criminal case and produced him before the court on October 14.
However, a mobile court led by the Lohagara UNO sentenced Belal to eight months on October 14 on charge of possessing some cannabis, according to the statement of the mobile court order.
Advocate Manzill further said a mobile court must sentence a person after finding him guilty on the spot, but Belal was sentenced through a concocted mobile court while he was in custody which is contrary to the constitution and law.
Manzill yesterday told the HC that the mobile court has lost its popularity due to abuse of power.
He prayed that the HC strips Mahbub of his power to conduct mobile court and allows the withdrawal of the OC.