The High Court yesterday issued a rule asking the government to explain in a week why noted photographer Shahidul Alam should not be granted bail in a case filed against him under section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
The bench of Justice AKM Asaduzzaman and Justice SM Mozibur Rahman came up with the rule after hearing a petition filed by Shahidul seeking bail in the case.
After hearing the rule, the HC will decide whether Shahidul will get bail in the case lodged for “spreading propaganda and false information against the government”, Deputy Attorney General Md Bashir Ullah told The Daily Star.
Shahidul, 63, who is now in Dhaka Central Jail, submitted the bail petition to the HC through his lawyers on September 18, saying that he is ill and he would not leave the country if he is granted bail.
In the petition, he also said section 57 of the ICT Act does not cover the allegations brought against him in the case.
On September 10, Shahidul's lawyers moved another petition before the HC for his bail in the case filed by police with Ramna Police Station on August 6.
After hearing the petition, the HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Abu Taher Md Saifur Rahman the same day directed the lower court concerned to dispose of the appeal by September 11.
On September 11, a Dhaka court rejected his bail plea in the same case.
The renowned photographer was picked up by plainclothes men from his home in the capital's Dhanmondi on August 5.
Police filed the case against him and produced him before a Dhaka court the following day. He was then placed on a seven-day remand.
In court, Shahidul said he was tortured in custody. Police denied the allegation.
On completion of his seven-day remand, Shahidul was denied bail and sent to jail by a Dhaka court on August 13.
Many notable personalities, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and 11 other Nobel prize winners, have called for immediate release of Shahidul.
Barrister Sara Hossain, advocate Shahdeen Malik and barrister Jyotirmoy Barua appeared for Shahidul in the HC, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam opposed the bail petition.