When Laws are
anyone remember Rubel, a young meritorious student of Independent
University? The youngest son of the loving parents. The youngest
brother of a caring brother and sister. What about Gopal Krishna
Muhori, the respected Principal of Nazirhat college in Chittagong?
The loving father who had a family that depended on him. Both
of them were brutally killed.
It is easy
to forget these victims of senseless violence as murders have
become too common for us to remember for long. But the father
who lost his university-going son, mercilessly tortured to death
and the son who had seen his father's blood-soaked dead body
in the most ruthless fashion, haven't forgotten those deaths.
They won't ever. The only thing that had given some solace was
to see the killers receiving due punishment. But even that hope
now seems to have been dashed.
It is not
just the family members, but every conscious heart has been
shocked as they saw some of the heinous murderers coming out
from custody. In the last few months a number of killers including
Assistant Commissioner of Police Akram accused for killing Rubel,
notorious Shibir cadre and terrorist Saiful who murdered Principal
Gopal Krishna Muhori, the infamous underworld don and arms dealer
Khaza Habib who is also the Commissioner of Ward 57, and Kazi
Mahbubudin, the cold-blooded murderer of his wife Nilufar Rashid
have been released on bail by the High Court. This has created
serious doubt in public minds about the fate of these murder
cases, that were so close to completion.
under trial are entitled to bail. But considering the kind of
charges these persons are facing and considering the very fact
that all of them have already been sentenced with life imprisonment
by the Judge Courts, the granting of bail is both unusual and
suspicious. Even the kind of promptness with which the bail
were grantyed belies any justifiable causes whatsoever.
So who is
responsible for such blatant manipulation of the system? In
our criminal justice system three main parties are directly
involved - the police, the judiciary and the government law
officials. Since the police are responsible with the investigation
procedure, lodging FIR and submitting the final charge sheet
there is scope of intentionally refraining from issuing a chargesheet
against the chief criminal. Sometimes they deliberately make
the FIR and the charge sheet weak, carefully leaving out key
information and/or adding fictitious information and thereby
destroying a case.
law officials, who represent the state in the court, also have
their share of misdeeds. It is their responsibility to oppose
any appeal they deem unlawful or be detrimental to resolving
a case. But sometimes they intentionally 'underperform'. Giving
bail to Saiful Islam, the chief accused in the Muhori murder
case, by the High Court is a case in point. It was revealed
from the court's verdict that the concerned Assistant Attorney
General Ibrahim Khalil, didn't even oppose the bail appeal.
comes the role of the judges. While some judges (certainly not
all of them) in the lower courts have long proved their affinity
for money and power, judges (so far very few) in the High courts
have recently been showing signs of dishonesty. At the moment,
a High Court judge Shahidur Rahman is facing a bribe charge
in the Supreme Judicial Council. It is the first time in the
history of Bangladesh the Council has sat with a High Court
judge in the accused's dock.
As far as
the government law officials and judges are concerned, one main
reason behind their poor efficiency level and poorer honesty
level are certainly results of the ever spreading 'culture of
politicising' everything. While recruitment of law officials
on political consideration has been an established tradition,
the recent incidents of the government's naked intervention
in connection with the appointment and promotion of judges to
the High Court and even Appellate Division have certainly exasperated
the already fragile and polluted judiciary.
such killers out on bail severely damages the general people's
faith on the judiciary, which is already going through a serious
image crisis, to say the least. The fact that all is not equal
in the eyes of law never came before the public eyes so overtly.
People like AC Akram and Khawja Habib appear to belong to that
small but mighty group of people who are, as Orwell so wittily
put it, "more equal than others". It seems these people
don't have to follow rules, it is the other way round--laws
abide by their wish. Our hope to see the rule of law in the
society is apparently at stake.