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  <%-- Page Title--%> Issue No 119 <%-- End Page Title--%>  

December 7, 2003 

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New dress-old practice!
Police is the prime agency of the country entrusted with the duty to protect the citizens and maintain law and order. Instead of protecting, some police members are acting like criminals. They arrest innocent people to extort money, torture people in custody to extract confession. Recently they are also mugging people. These are examples of law enforcers assuming the unlikely role of lawbreakers. Is there any other way to describe mugging, killing and other criminal activity by police? Most recently, in Jhenaidha district, one police officer took one accused person to reamd in thana custody from jail custody without any order form magistrate. They did it allegedly for realising money form his family. This is unbelievable! The news is another debilitating blow to the standing of law enforcers, already lowered in the public eye, because of assorted culpability committed by police. According to the law, no police officer can keep an arrested person in thana custody for more than 24 hours without permission of a magistrate. A series of incidents have taken place in recent years which cast a shadow on the credibility of the men in charge of ensuring security to citizens. This is a unique one in the list of criminal activity of police. The concerned police official claimed that it was mistake. How is it possible? I hope all the police-turned-criminal will not go unpunished for the greater interest of the police department. There must be a quick turn-around in the situation; for, a vast majority of citizens have lost faith in the integrity and competence of police. If the cops are to restore public confidence in themselves they have to behave like policemen, not criminals.
Mizanur Rahman,
Advocate, Dhaka Judge Court.

Law is not equal for all
I was shocked and astonished by the news published in The Daily Star, "Law makes exceptions for BNP lawmaker". According to the news Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu, MP of the ruling party , accused in an extortion case, has not been present in the court on 23 consecutive dates and a metropolitan magistrate's court has not issued an arrest warrant against him. The news also revealed that the same magistrate had cancelled the bail of one Farid Ahmed of 53 DIT Extension Road, Naya Paltan at Motijheel in the city, who stands accused in a cheating case, and issued a warrant of arrest against him as well, as he did not turn up on a specific date. We may recall that few days back, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Md Matiur Rahman asked the government to seize the power of a metropolitan magistrate for passing unlawful orders in a criminal case. The judge said that Metropolitan Magistrate Shafiq Anwar issued several orders including declaration of an accused as absconder, attachment of his property and ban on his leaving the country though the time fixed for appearance of the accused did not expire.
The above three cases gives us clear idea of how our lower court, specially the magistrate's court works. It is crystal clear that the lower courts are in very much control of the executive. I believe this short of activity will continue unless and until the judiciary is separated.
Jahangir Alam,
Aristopharma, Dhaka.

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