Placing Pori on Remands: HC censures two judges, IO
The High Court has said the investigation officer disregarded the Supreme Court guidelines and laws in seeking remand for actor Pori Moni for the second and third time in a narcotics case.
It also criticised two lower court judges for granting the remand prayers.
The full text of the HC order, which was released yesterday, said, "Moreover, crime is not a problem solely for the police only, rather it is a community problem. The police department must believe that human life is very precious. A police officer has to think about the legal and basic issues before taking an accused on remand."
The society vests the highest level of trust in the police department. But in the recent case, it seemed the IO to some extent disregarded the guidelines of the apex court as well as the laws, resulting in an obstacle to a smooth functioning of criminal justice system.
"We believe that justice would be met if the investigating officer explains the reasons in this regard," the HC bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar Kajol said in the full text.
Earlier on September 2, the bench sought explanations from two lower court judges -- metropolitan magistrates Devobrata Biswas and Atikul Islam -- who placed Pori Moni on extended remand in the same case. They have been ordered to submit their explanations before the HC in 10 days.
The HC also summoned IO Golam Mostafa to appear before it at 11:00am on September 15 with relevant documents to explain why he sought the second and third remand of Pori Moni, who was granted bail and released from jail on September 1.
The bench issued the orders following a petition filed by rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) to question the repeated remands that allowed the police to interrogate Pori Moni in custody.
"Presumably, the accused may be required to be interrogated in the interest of investigation for the purpose of a fair and transparent trial, but the record shows that the IO of the case made remand prayers to the metropolitan magistrates for the second and third time basing on which the court concerned was pleased to grant remand by its order on August 10 and 19 respectively, which pricks our judicial consensus [about] how the magistrates concerned were so satisfied to allow prayers for remands a couple of times," the order said.
The bench said metropolitan magistrates Devobrata Biswas and Atikul Islam should appear in person before this court if their explanations about granting remand are not satisfactory.
"We found from the records that initially, the accused person [Pori Moni] was taken on remand for four days, which is of course a considerable time to extract any information and materials, if any, but furtherance of requiring the next remand period, the IO could not show substantial and sufficient materials as found from the records before us," the order read.
It added that the manner of the arrest by the law enforcement agency concerned is contrary to the guidelines set by the apex court.
"It is a settled proposition of law that citizens' rights cannot be hampered without following the relevant law. Similarly, every citizen should be respectful to the law of the land. One should not be convicted through any unusual course like trolling on personal life and the liberty of a citizen by any means before coming to any verdict from any appropriate court of law of the land," the judges observed in the order, adding that the law has to be regarded as the foundation of a civilised society.
The HC further said it is suffice to say that article 35(5) of our constitution contemplates that no person shall be subjected to torture and cruel or inhuman or degrading treatment.
Contacted, ASK's lawyer ZI Khan Panna recently told The Daily Star that according to the SC's directives, an accused should be interrogated at the jail gate if it is necessary.
The accused person's health must be examined by a registered doctor before and after interrogation and his or her lawyers and relatives must be allowed to be present during the interrogation, but the lower court concerned and police have not followed the directives while placing Pori Moni on remand, he added.