The Supreme Court yesterday asked the authorities concerned to accept the case if Bangladesh Bank official Golam Rabby files one over the alleged police torture on him.
Rabby can file a case with a police station or a court, and the police authorities or the court must record it, the apex court said.
A four-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha made the observation while disposing of a petition filed by the government on January 21.
The petition sought a stay on a High Court order that directed Mohammadpur Police Station to record Rabby's complaint as a case.
Meanwhile, Rabby said he was yet to decide whether he would file a lawsuit or not. “I will think about it,” he told The Daily Star yesterday afternoon.
The apex court observed that the victim didn't move any petition before the HC for an order, and therefore the writ petition filed by three persons as public interest litigation on January 17 against the police was not acceptable.
During the hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said police completed the enquiry into the incident on January 16.
But two lawyers and a reporter moved a writ petition before the HC, seeking its order on police to accept Rabby's complaint as a case and arrest Sub-inspector Masud Shikder for malafide intentions, he said.
A departmental probe by police found the allegations of torture on Rabby against Masud to be true, and accordingly, the police officer was suspended, said Mahbubey.
The attorney general said the three filed the writ petition as public interest litigation to malign the entire police department and dampen their morale.
Citing the police probe report on the incident, he said Rabby obstructed police from searching him on January 9. A police constable then slapped him and got him into a police car in Mohammadpur area. Police later released Rabby after confirming his identity.
Rabby, however, rejected outright the police report the attorney general placed before the court.
“I didn't do anything. They grabbed me by the collar from behind. They did not search me. What they did cannot be defined as any form of search. It was brutal,” he told The Daily Star yesterday.
While returning home on January 9 night, Rabby was allegedly intercepted, harassed and tortured by SI Masud of Mohammadpur Police Station and his subordinates.
According to Rabby, the cops threatened to kill him in “an encounter” if he failed to pay them Tk 5 lakh.
The incident sparked public outrage. Even the Bangladesh Bank governor wrote to the inspector general of police, urging him to take steps against the policeman responsible.
Following the outcry, SI Masud was first closed and later suspended.
On January 19, IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque claimed that Rabby's refusal to be frisked and his involvement in an altercation with police led to the January 9 incident.
Rabby, however, rejected the police chief's statement. He also doubted whether the police probe would be impartial.
On January 17, two SC lawyers and a journalist filed the writ petition with the HC.
Following the petition, the HC on January 18 ordered the officer-in-charge of Mohammadpur Police Station to immediately record Rabby's complaint as first information report (FIR).
The HC also observed that SI Masud should be sacked since suspension was not enough as a punishment.
Later, the government submitted a petition to the SC, seeking a stay on the HC order.
The SC chamber judge on January 21 stayed the HC order till January 25 and sent the government petition to the full SC bench for hearing.