Kushtia SP apologises to HC | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 26, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:37 AM, January 26, 2021

Kushtia SP apologises to HC

Admits he misbehaved with a magistrate

Superintendent of Kushtia police SM Tanvir Arafat yesterday apologised to the High Court for misbehaving with a senior judicial magistrate during Bheramara municipality elections on January 16.

He also promised that such a "mistake" would not occur again.

The SP apologised and gave an undertaking to the HC through swearing an affidavit.

In the affidavit, he admitted that he misbehaved with Judicial Magistrate Md Mohsin Hasan and regretted for the incident.

SP Arafat in the affidavit said he is highly remorseful for his "unintentional act" with the judicial magistrate and he would be more serious and cautious in discharging his duties and such types of mistake would not happen in future.

During the hearing on a contempt of court rule, the SP sought mercy of the HC and prayed to it to exonerate him from the contempt of court rule.

The SP also appeared before the HC bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khizir Hayat yesterday morning in compliance with its January 20 order. 

Senior lawyer Md Munsurul Hoque Chowdhury appeared for the SP and prayed to the bench to accept the unconditional apology of his client and pardon him.

The bench adjourned the hearing on the rule and set February 17 for passing an order on the issue.

The court added that it would observe SP Arafat's activities till further order and exonerated him from appearing before it in person for the time being.

The bench also ordered the SP to provide security to local Jubo Unnayan officer Shahjahan Ali who witnessed policemen misbehaving with the judicial magistrate during the municipality polls.

Shahjahan, who was the presiding officer at Bheramara Pilot Model High School, on January 21 told another HC bench, led by Justice M Enayetur Rahim, that he and his family members were scared of police.

During the polling on January 16, when Judicial Magistrate Mohsin Hasan was talking to Shahjahan about allegations of voting fraud at the school, SP Arafat and several other police officers interrupted the conversation and asked Mohsin to leave, according to complaints the latter had made.

According to media reports, Mohsin went to the polling centre at Bheramara Pilot Model High School after receiving complaints of voting fraud and was talking to Presiding Officer Shahjahan when SP Arafat, ASP Mostafizur Rahman and several other police personnel went there and loudly called the presiding officer aside.

Mohsin then told the police personnel that he was a judicial magistrate and requested them to let him speak to the presiding officer, the reports said. 

SP Arafat then called the magistrate impolite and asked him to leave the premises, according to the reports.

Mohsin later filed complaint with the Election Commission, Registrar General's Office of the Supreme Court, the law and home ministries, and the Office of Inspector General of Police, accusing the SP of serious misconduct, reports our Kushtia correspondent.

The SP's conduct during the polls was a blatant violation of the Local Government Election Rules, 2010, the complaint said.

On January 20, the HC bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khizir Hayat issued a contempt of court rule against SP Arafat.

The bench also directed him to appear before the court in person yesterday and give his explanation about the incident.

It also observed that the SP had not only committed serious contempt of court but also tarnished the image of the judiciary as a whole.

"The action of the superintendent of police … cannot be taken lightly," the HC said in a suo moto order. "The behaviour and the attitude … of the police to an officer of the judiciary who is performing the judicial functions as per the provisions of law under the guidance of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh amount to serious contempt of court.

"Such a behaviour of the said superintendent of police, Kushtia, is a severe attack on the administration of justice and ultimately the entire judiciary," it added.

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