The High Court yesterday directed the authorities concerned of Chattogram jail to immediately release Minu Akhter, who has been serving jail sentence instead of convicted Kulsuma Akhter in a murder case.
The court also ordered law enforcers to arrest Kulsuma, who was sentenced to life-term imprisonment in the Kohinur Begum murder case.
While hearing an appeal and petition filed in connection with the case, the HC summoned three lawyers from Chattogram's Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Daman Tribunal and its lawyer-assistant (clerk) to appear before the court on June 28 to explain whether there was any fraudulence or their involvement in sending Minu to jail instead of Kulsuma.
The three lawyers are public prosecutor of Chattogram Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Daman Tribunal MA Naser and his junior lawyers Nurul Anwar and Bibekananda, and lawyer-assistant is Md Saurav, Minu's lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir told The Daily Star.
He said the four have sent the relevant appeal documents of Kulsuma to lawyer Iqbal Hossain for moving it before the HC.
The HC bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim and Justice Mohi Uddin Shamim came up with the order during hearing an appeal filed by Kulsuma challenging her conviction handed by the trial court concerned and a petition filed on behalf of Minu seeking necessary directives including that of release and compensation.
During yesterday's hearing, Attorney General AM Amin Uddin told the HC bench that the perpetrators need to be identified and punished.
Lawyer Iqbal Hossain, who moved the appeal, told the HC bench that he does not know Kulsuma and her family, but he received the appeal of Kulsuma from Public Prosecutor MA Naser, his junior lawyers and lawyer-assistant.
On March 22, the court of Chattogram's 4th Additional Metropolitan Session Judge Shariful Alam found that Minu, now 33, from Sitakunda upazila in Chattogram, has been in jail since 2018 instead of convicted Kulsuma, from Lohagora upazila of the same district, in a case filed for killing one Kohinur Begum.
Kohinur, an RMG worker, was killed in her rented house in port city's Rahmatganj area on July 9, 2006 following an altercation over a mobile phone.
A case was lodged over the murder with Kotwali Police Station and police arrested one Kulsuma Akhter and sent her to jail in 2007. She later came out of jail on bail.
On November 30, 2017, a court in Chattogram sentenced her (Kulsuma) to life-term imprisonment in absentia after trial.
During yesterday's hearing, Minu's lawyer Shishir Manir prayed to the HC to direct the authorities concerned to conduct a judicial enquiry to find out how she was allowed to serve jail sentence instead of convicted Kulsuma, who are responsible for the incident and to release Minu from jail immediately.
He also urged the HC to order the law enforcers to arrest Kulsuma and ask the jail authorities to introduce biometric fingerprint system for the purpose of properly identifying convicted or accused persons.
Deputy Attorney General Dr Md Bashir Ullah represented the state during the hearing yesterday.