Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cheers for ‘murderers’

Rules flouted to clear 30 murder cases; committee sits Aug 20 to review 'politically-motivated' cases along with 200 more

Cheers for 'murderers'

The national committee for reviewing and recommending withdrawal of “politically motivated” lawsuits has taken up 30 murder cases, mostly against Awami League men, for review at its next meeting without following due procedures.
The murder cases, with nearly 170 other lawsuits, have been selected for the committee’s consideration, mostly without recommendations from district committees headed by deputy commissioners, said sources in the inter-ministerial review body.
According to the rules, it is mandatory that district committees first select the “politically motivated” cases and then forward them to the home ministry for placing them before the national committee.
But many of the cases have been selected for the committee’s review even without the knowledge of district committees, said district officials.
The national committee headed by State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam has been reviewing “politically motivated” cases since 2009.
The committee’s next meeting, which may also be its last, is scheduled for August 20. At its previous 30 meetings, the committee had recommended withdrawing as many as 7,177 cases against a total of 11,200 cases referred to it.
The recommendations for wholesale withdrawal of the cases evoked strong criticism from different quarters.
Officials said the government made the move at the end of its tenure apparently for getting off the hook criminals loyal to ruling party leaders.
Sources said when the district committees expressed their inability to make recommendations for reviewing several murder cases against notorious criminals, they were asked to forward the cases without recommendations.
One such instance is the forwarding of the murder cases against Khokon Hossain Khan, a notorious criminal in Pabna, to the national committee.
Khokon, an accused in three murder cases with Santhia and Ataikula police stations in Pabna, has been shown as a member of Santhia thana AL unit. But in reality, Khokon is not a member of the ruling AL.
The murder cases against him have been selected for the national committee’s review. But the Pabna district committee didn’t even know that Khokon’s case documents had been sent to the review body.
Al Mahmud Delwar, convener of Santhia thana AL unit, yesterday told The Daily Star that Khokon, son of Yousuf Khan in Santhia, had never been a member of the Awami League.
Mustafizur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Pabna, said the district committee had not sent the documents of any murder case to the national committee for review.
Khokon along with several others was indicted in the charge sheets of the three murder cases in 2003 and 2004. He is the prime accused in the cases.
Khokon was shown absconding in all three cases, said a court source in Pabna.
As per provisions, no case against any absconding accused can be put on the agenda for the national committee’s review.
The committee was formed in early 2009 to review and recommend withdrawal of “politically motivated” cases filed during the tenure of the BNP-led government and the last caretaker government.
Surprisingly, it will also review at its next meeting a murder case filed during the tenure of the present government.
Shawkat Ali, who is from Lalmonirhat, is the accused in the murder case filed with Aditmari Police Station in Lalmonirhat on October 4, 2009.
But it could not be confirmed whether Shawkat had any affiliation with the ruling party.
Two more murder cases — one against Chhatra League member Babu Hossain and the other against AL activist Fazlu alias Dipjol in Pabna — have also been selected for the committee’s review without the knowledge of the district committee concerned.
The state minister for law told The Daily Star that no case should be selected for the committee’s review without the district committees’ recommendations.
When his attention was drawn to such instances, the chief of the national body said he would not say anything without seeing the documents.

  • zahid

    Sitting in a glass room, the party thinkers may think that these outlaws will help them win the election race, but alas! Days are gone! People are more intelligent and cautious than that of old days!!!

  • Mahboob Hossain

    Let the judges go for strike for too much interference in the judiciary.

    • Ash C.

      It could have been possible for those fair minded ones, but the fear of reprisal from the their colleagues of AL camp as well as the ruing party are much too much odds to go against. We just witnessed one such incident against a supreme court judge just for sending out a news paper clipping to his colleagues!

  • deepjelejai

    AL is being made packed with criminals and by the current outstanding leadership of AL,it will be a party of criminals,by the criminals and for the criminals.

  • Doronto

    What a mess in the judiciary in Bangladesh! Criminal matters such as murder cases are being withdrawn without following right procedures which is utterly violation of justice system of Bangladesh. Strictly speaking, there should not have any ways to compromise where the allegation to any person is in relation to murder. Even presidential power to pardon a criminal should not be existed. This pardon power is believed to have been
    exercised being politically motivated. Recently party power to withdraw case is in addition to president’s power of pardon. Even, to some extent, this party power to withdraw case is more powerful than president’s power.

    It is opposite of cross fire. In cross fire, alleged criminals get killed whereas in politically motivated case, alleged criminals set free. Both are notorious.

    The simple equation is where court find a case politically motivated, the law will quash the matter straight way. For making false allegation of murder or grievous offences to an innocent person, court has been given enough power to bring the tout complainant into
    justice. But as per report the committee only withdraws the allegedly false case but will not put the person who filed false murder case into justice. That is why, prima facie, the withdrawal of these cases itself is politically motivated.
    The impact of such a decision will be in the future: every criminal will do more crime in the name of party or for the party.

    The future ruling government will set more criminals free following today’s precedence.
    However, the practice of filing false allegation against oppositions, or those who does not give bribe to police are not new. The poor victims of those cases are to suffer unjustly or
    become free after a long harassment. Any kind of law for the sake of preventing
    injustice is welcomed for the interest of justice. As is known, committee to which power is given to Marcy is not following rules. Nothing is to be surprised though.

    Finally, still people love our existing political parties. Still people believe they can save Bangladesh and build Bangladesh. Thus government should put those matters into court and take the opportunity to prove that that filled case were made for harassment to the
    then opposition party man. Otherwise, Any decision to which the withdrawal
    relates may put the nation into far back we cannot imagine.