HC wants account of Jaha Alam’s anguishing tale
The High Court (HC) today asked Jaha Alam to appear before it on next Wednesday for his statement of suffering in jail and to know how he is doing now.
Jaha Alam was wrongly imprisoned for three years because of an identity mess-up. He got released from jail on February 4 following a HC order.
The HC passed the order while it was hearing a rule issued by it on January 28 over JahaAlam’swrong imprisonment.
The HC bench of Justice FRM Nazmul Ahasan and Justice KM Kamrul Kader gave one week time to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for submitting documents over the cases in which JahaAlam suffered in jail.
The court came up with the order after ACC lawyer Khurshid AlamKhan prayed to give more time to submit the documents.
During the proceedings, Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Amit Das Gupta who moved for JahaAlam’srelease told the court said the victim may appear before the court for explaining how he was arrested and suffered in jail. JahaAlam is in the court premises today, he informed the court.
Then, the court asked Amit Das to produce JahaAlambefore it on next Wednesday.
Between 2010 and 2011, Abu Salek, a businessman, misappropriated about Tk 18 crore from Sonali Bank's Cantonment branch. Salek used a fake address to open an account with the bank, the ACC said.
Salek also had an account in another private bank, ACC sources said.
In 2012, the anti-graft watchdog filed the 33 cases over the misappropriation, and Salek was made accused in most of them.
During investigation, the commission asked the banks' officials to identify and trace Salek.
The officials informed the ACC that the address provided by Salek in his bank documents was in Tangail's Nagarpur, ACC sources said.
The commission then summoned Salek to its office where the bank officials, including the account's introducers, were present.
However, the man who appeared before the ACC claimed that the authorities concerned were mistaken and his name was JahaAlam, not Abu Salek.
“To ascertain further, we sent the photo that Salek used in the bank's Know-Your-Client form to Nagarpur's Union Parishad chairman, who identified him as JahaAlam,” said an investigation officer preferring anonymity.
Later, the ACC placed a charge-sheet before the court identifying him as Abu Salek alias JahaAlam.
In 2016, Alam was arrested by police in connection with most of the cases in which Salek was accused.
Different media outlets reported that JahaAlam said he was wrongly accused, after which the ACC investigated the matter further.
The commission found Alam's claim to be true.
Contacted, ACC Director General Moyeedul Islam said of the 33 cases, Alam was made accused in most of them.
“We have already urged the court to exempt JahaAlam from prosecution,” he said, adding that the process was underway.
He, however, said Salek, who was on the run, would remain as the accused in the cases.
On January 28, the HC bench passed the order in a suo moto move following a report published in the Bangla daily ProthomAlo on the day under the headline “Wrong accused in jail in 33 cases: Sir, I am JahaAlam, not Salek.”
Supreme Court lawyer Amit Das Gupta placed the news report before the HC bench for necessary orders in this regard.
HC judges issued the summons after going through the report.
The court also gave a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain why JahaAlam should not be acquitted of the cases in which he was not an accused, Amit told The Daily Star.
Ealier, the DG of the ACC said that the faces of Abu Salek and JahaAlam, according to the photograph, were similar.