The High Court today issued a rule asking the government to show causes in two weeks why it should not be directed to release 83 detained migrant workers who returned home from Vietnam and Qatar, from jail custody.
Secretaries to the ministries of home, law and foreign affairs, the inspector general of police, inspector general of prisons and the officer-in-charge of Turag Police Station have been made respondents to the rule.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam came up with the rule following a writ petition filed as a public interest litigation by Supreme Court lawyer Salah Uddin Reagan on September 13.
In the petition, the lawyer sought the HC's order on the respondents to release the 83 migrant workers, arrested in Bangladesh after their return, from jail.
Citing the writ petition, Salah Uddin Reagan told The Daily Star that the law enforcers arrested the migrants under Section 54 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and sent them to jail on September 1, although there is no specific allegation against them.
Of the total 83 migrants, 81 returned from Vietnam and two returned from Qatar and they were in quarantine for 14 days before they were arrested, he said.
During hearing of the petition today, the lawyer told the HC that the arrested migrants were not brought back to the country under any extradition treaty.
They returned to the country after they were given general mercy by the governments of Vietnam and Qatar. Therefore, they cannot be kept detained in jail without specific allegations, the lawyer argued.