The way Gaibandha MP Manzurul Islam Liton allegedly shot a minor boy early this month can only be seen in movies and there is no scope to grant him bail, the High Court said yesterday.
Rejecting his two bail petitions, the court ordered the Awami League lawmaker to surrender before the trial court in Gaibandha by October 18.
The HC said the alleged offence could not be “considered lightly,” and asked all concerned to deal with the case in accordance with the law.
Around 6:00am on October 2, the Gaibandha-1 MP shot Sourav Mia, a class-four student, in both legs for no apparent reason. The incident happened when the 10-year-old boy was taking a morning walk with his uncle at Gopalcharan village in the district, family members said.
The following day, the boy's father filed a case against Liton for attempting to murder his son. The boy is now under treatment in Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty observed that the accused should be sent to jail over such an allegation.
Having remained “on the run” since the shooting, Liton appeared before the HC bench for hearing of his bail petitions yesterday.
Barrister Moksadul Islam argued for the lawmaker in the court.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam vehemently opposed the bail petitions.
After the court order, he said he would move the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for an order so that law enforcers did not hesitate to arrest the lawmaker.
According to him, if the HC order remains in force as it is, then law enforcers may not arrest Liton before his surrender.
He, however, would not comment if there is any legal bar for cops to nab the MP following the HC order.
But advocate Khurshid Alam Khan, editor of Dhaka Law Reports, who was present in the courtroom, told The Daily Star that there was no legal bar to this end, as the HC did not direct law enforcers not to harass or arrest him.
Besides, the HC asked all concerned, including the lower court and law enforcers, to deal with the cases against the lawmaker in line with the law, he added.
Liton's counsel opposed this view, saying the court allowed his client some time.
Contacted, Gaibandha Superintendent of Police Ashraful Islam said police would not arrest the lawmaker because the HC gave him time to surrender to the trial court.
The other case in which the HC ordered Liton to surrender before the trial court involves vandalism and looting of a home in the area soon after the shooting.
Hafizur Mandal, a three-wheeler driver, filed the case against the MP and nine others who allegedly went on a rampage and looted his house in Uttar Shabazpur of Sundarganj upazila as the lawmaker stood by.
Hearing both the bail petitions, the judges said they were bound by the law and could not grant bail to an accused without examining whether the allegations against him were true or false.
At one stage, Liton's counsel sought to know why the minor boy had gone out so early in the morning.
To this, the court pointed out that his client also allegedly went out of his house, and that too with a pistol, so early in the morning.
Mahbubey Alam told the court that the offences of the lawmaker were so heinous that the HC could not grant him bail.
The law and the court should be strong against a powerful person, he said.
“If an accused of such a crime is granted bail, what message will it send to people?” he asked.
He also requested the court to order police to take Liton into custody from the court premises.
The lawmaker's counsel then prayed that the HC grant his client some time to surrender before the trial court.
Earlier in the morning, Moksadul filed the anticipatory bail petitions for hearing. But the court asked him to bring his client before the court as per the law.
Liton entered the courtroom around 1:00pm and left it after the HC order without speaking to the media.
He later told reporters at the chamber of his counsel that he was not hiding as reported in the media, but was only at a “safe place”.