A special court in Sylhet yesterday upheld a lower court's verdict that sent industrialist Ragib Ali and his son Abdul Hye to jail in a case filed for grabbing the endowed property of Tarapur Tea Estate in Sylhet by forging title deeds.
The court of Special District and Sessions Judge Dilip Kumar Bhoumik passed the order upholding the verdict of Sylhet Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, after hearing the appeal of the convicts, said Nawshad Ahmed Choudhury, special public prosecutor of the court.
The Sylhet CMM court sentenced the duo to total fourteen years' rigorous imprisonment each in February last year, Public Prosecutor Nawshad said.
They were also fined Tk 10,000 each, in default of which they will have to serve another three months in jail.
The special court ordered the duo to surrender before the lower court concerned by September 17 this year. Ragib Ali and Abdul Hye are currently on bail.
On August 25, 1999, the then parliamentary watchdog on land affairs found that Tarapur Tea Estate grabbed a vast area of an endowment property and set up several establishments on the land illegally.
Later, the subcommittee of the parliamentary watchdog recommended taking legal action against the illegal occupants.
SM Abdul Kadir, the then land commissioner of Sylhet Sadar, filed two cases against six people, including Ragib Ali, with Sylhet Kotwali Police Station on September 27, 2005.
One of the cases was filed for grabbing endowed property of Tarapur Tea Estate after fabricating document of the Ministry of Land and another for misappropriating Tk 1,000 crore of the government.
In 1990, Ragib started grabbing the land of the estate after forcing its legal Shebayet (caretaker) Pankaj Kumar Gupta to leave the country.
After grabbing 422.96 acres of the estate, Ragib built a medical college hospital and also sold 337 plots and established some other structures on the land.