Judge’s Comment on Rape Case: Totally unlawful, unconstitutional
The law ministry will write to the chief justice seeking action against Judge Mosammat Kamrunnahar for recommending police not to record any rape case after 72 hours of the incident, said Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday.
The observation made by the judge is totally illegal and unconstitutional as there is no time limit in the criminal justice system for recording the case against this criminal offence, the minister, also an eminent criminal law expert, told The Daily Star.
Judge Kamrunnahar of the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-7 made the recommendation while delivering the verdict in the sensational Banani Raintree Hotel rape case last Thursday.
"I think she [the judge] has lost her ability to remain in the post of a judge because of her observation," said Anisul.
The law minister told this correspondent that his ministry will send the letter to the chief justice today requesting appropriate action against the judge.
"The chief justice will make the appropriate decision, but I cannot say what that decision will be," he said.
Legal experts and rights activists severely criticised the recommendation, and said it was contradictory to the law and justice and that it would further encourage rapists.
The judge noted that the case was lodged 38 days after the incident, and so no DNA evidence could be found. "Semen cannot be traced after 72 hours…"
In October last year, the High Court bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Bhishmadev Chakrabortty passed a judgment saying that a rape accused cannot be exonerated only due to lack of medical evidence.
Bilkis Begum, coordinator of the One-Stop-Crisis Centre (OCC) of the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said they collect medical evidence up to five days after an alleged rape incident.
The law minister yesterday declined to comment on the acquittal of the five accused in the Banani Raintree Hotel rape case.
The five acquitted are: Apan Jewellers owner's son Shafat Ahmed, his friend Nayeem Ashraf Halim, driver Billal Hossain, bodyguard Rahmat Ali, and Sadman Sakif.
The case was filed with Banani Police Station on May 6, 2017, while the incident was stated to have happened on March 28 of that same year.