The High Court today summoned the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Lohagara upazila in Chittagong and three police officers concerned to appear before it on January 28 for allegedly sentencing a man to eight months’ imprisonment through a mobile court in October last year while he was in custody.
UNO Md Mahbub Alam, also an executive magistrate, Officer-in-Charge of Lohagara Police Station Shahjahan and its Sub Inspectors Helal Khan and Wasim have been asked to appear before the HC to explain their conducts over the incident.
In response to a writ petition, the HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain why the jail sentence handed down to Md Belal Uddin of Adhunagar Sardarnipara under Lohagara through a “concocted mobile court” 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 four police officers to explain why they should not be directed to give Tk 20 lakh as compensation to Belal Uddin.
The home secretary, UNO Mahbub Alam, OC Shahjahan and Sub Inspectors Helal and Wassim have been respondents to the rule, petitioner’s lawyer Advocate Manzill Murshid told The Daily Star.
The HC bench of Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan came up with the order and rule after hearing a writ petition filed by Belal Uddin challenging the legality of sentencing him by the mobile court.
Citing from the writ petition, Belal’s lawyer Manzill Murshid told this correspondent that the police arrested his client (Belal) on October 13 last year in a criminal case under a Chittagong court order and he was produced before the court on October 14.
But, according to the statement of a mobile court order, the mobile court led by Lohagara’s UNO Md Mahabub Alam sentenced Belal to eight months’ imprisonment on October 14 on a charge of possessing two packs of cannabis, he said.
Advocate Manzill Murshid said any mobile court has to 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.
Belal Uddin is still now in jail under the “concocted” mobile court’s order, he added.