If one tarnishes country’s image, no bail | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 08, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:00 AM, March 08, 2021

If one tarnishes country’s image, no bail

Warns CJ while talking about DSA

Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain yesterday warned about posting abusive and indecent comments on social media and asked how educated people could do such things.

"Satires take place even in the US, but those are not as indecent as those in our country," he said while presiding over a three-member bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court that was hearing an appeal.

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"We are cautioning that we will not consider granting bail to those who tarnish the country's image in any manner," he said. "It has to be kept in mind that the image of the country is the first priority."

The chief justice asked whether there was any point of education if educated people used such words.

If such comments are made in the future, granting a bail will not even be considered, he said.

The state has filed the leave to appeal petition, challenging a High Court order that granted bail to 61-year-old Sylhet resident Golam Sarwar in a case filed under the Digital Security Act accusing him of posting "derogatory" comments on facebook about some "distinguished persons", said Deputy Attorney General Bishwajit Debnath.

He didn't give The Daily Star any details about the comments and the names of the "distinguished persons" since the SC prohibited him from disclosing them.

The apex court, however, dismissed the state's appeal and upheld the HC bail order for Sarwar because he had cardiovascular diseases and had four stents in his heart.

Following a bail petition by Sarwar, the HC on October 11, 2020, granted him bail for a year on health grounds.

The state then filed a petition with the SC, seeking stay on the HC order of bail.

The Appellate Division's Chamber Judge Md Nuruzzaman on October 18, 2020, stayed for eight weeks the HC order that granted bail to Sarwar.

The judge also asked the state to move a leave to appeal petition before its full bench against the HC order.

Accordingly, the state moved the leave to appeal petition before the full bench of the apex court yesterday for staying the HC order of bail for Sarwar.

Sarwar's lawyer M Asaduzzaman told this correspondent that Rab filed the case against his client with Sylhet Sadar Police Station on March 15, 2020, under the Digital Security Act, 2018.

It accused him of making derogatory comments about distinguished persons including the prime minister.

According to the documents annexed to the FIR, Sarwar made comments on Facebook about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.

"The apex court asked me to tell my client to remain careful in making comments on social media. I will do so in line with the Supreme Court order," Asaduzzaman said.

He added that there was no legal bar for his client's release from Sylhet jail.

Asaduzzaman told the SC that his client had been in custody since March 14, 2020, but no charge sheet was submitted to the trial court.

Sarwar has been suffering in jail for almost an year without a trial, he said.

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