Twelve more lawsuits were filed yesterday in Dhaka and eight other districts against The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam for publishing reports based on information supplied by the DGFI during caretaker government regime in 2007.
While one complainant appealed to press sedition charges against Anam, complainants in four cases claimed a total of Tk 10,205 crore in compensation for damages.
A Sylhet court, where two defamation cases were filed, summoned the Star editor on March 30, while two courts in Khulna and Patuakhali issued summons on him to appear before those courts on March 29 and April 5 respectively.
With the 12 cases filed yesterday, total 16 lawsuits have so far been filed against Anam. Local BCL leaders filed two defamation cases in Laxmipur and Khulna on February 9 and two others in Gopalganj and Cox’s Bazar two days later.
On February 11, Assistant Public Prosecutor Mostafizur Rahman Dulal of Dhaka Special Judge's Court-9 placed an application before a Dhaka court for filing a sedition case against Anam. The court later ordered police to seek permission from the government for investigating the charge.
Yesterday was the first time that the court summoned Anam in connection with the defamation cases. In some cases, the courts asked the complainants to submit documents in support of their allegations.
Organising secretary of Bangladesh Projonmo League’s central committee filed a libel case with the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Pranab Kumar Hui in Dhaka where he claimed Tk 10,000 crore in compensation for publishing unverified news “against Awami League Sheikh Hasina during the 2007-08 caretaker regime”.
After hearing, the court ordered the officer-in-charge of Mugda Police Station to take legal steps in this regard after investigation.
Advocate Jamal Abdun Naser, general secretary of the district lawyers’ association, filed a case with court of senior judicial magistrate (cognizance) seeking to bring sedition charges against Daily Star editor for publishing unverified reports about Sheikh Hasina in 2007.
Through his recent statement in a television talk show on the issue, the editor proved himself as an anti-state individual, the plaintiff said.
Senior Judicial Magistrate AKM Moyeen Uddin Siddiki took the plea into cognizance and directed the officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station to seek permission from the government for investigating the charge.
Abdul Basit Rumman and Rahat Tarafder, current and former presidents of Sylhet city unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), filed separate defamation cases with the Court of Sylhet Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Saifuzzaman.
Saying that The Daily Star reports on June 2, 3, 13 and 14 of 2007 tarnished the image of their leader Hasina, they claimed Tk 100 crore in compensation in each case, said Humayun Kabir, additional public prosecutor.
Taking the cases into cognizance, the court summoned the Daily Star editor.
Uzzal Kumar Basu, secretary of the district unit of Awami Swechchhasebak League, filed a defamation case with the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate SM Tareq Shams seeking Tk 5 crore in compensation.
On receiving the complaint, the court issued a summon for Anam to appear before it by April 5, which is the next date of the case, according to court source.
GM Khan Pathan, public prosecutor of and general secretary of Sadar Upazila unit of AL, filed a defamation case against Anam with court of additional chief judicial magistrate yesterday.
After recording the statement of the plaintiff, Alamgir Kabir Shipon of the court ordered OC of Netrakona Model Police Station to conduct probe into the allegation.
President of Kaptai Upazila unit of Jubo League Nasir Uddin yesterday filed a defamation case against the Star editor with Chief Judicial Magistrate (Cognizance).
Magistrate Shams Uddin Khaled ordered OC of Rangamati Kotwali Police Station to investigate the matter and submit report by March 31.
Advocate Samsur Rahman Parvez, law affairs secretary of Khansama upazila AL unit, filed a defamation case with Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Ahsanul Haque.
The court recorded the compliant but had not passed any order yet, the plaintiff told The Daily Star last evening.
Joint Secretary and Office Secretary of Khulna District unit BCL, Parvez Howlader and Taslim Hossain Taj respectively filed two defamation cases in two separate courts in Khulna, within five days of another defamation suit in the same district against the Daily Star editor by another BCL leader.
While a court asked local police to probe into the case and set March 28 for next hearing, the other one summoned Mahfuz Anam to be present in the court on March 29.
An ex-president of the district unit BCL, Nurul Amin Kotwal, central organising secretary of Awami Muktijuddho Prajanma League, Hasibul Islam, and Jajira upazila unit BCL general secretary Hanif Mia filed three seperate defamation suits against The Daily Star yesterday in the chief judicial magistrate's court in Shariatpur.