HC judges cite ‘embarrassment’ in Shahidul Alam bail hearing

A High Court bench has withdrawn from a scheduled hearing on a bail petition by photographer and activist Shahidul Alam, citing "embarrassment".

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 4 Sept 2018, 07:06 AM
Updated : 4 Sept 2018, 07:48 AM

The petition was presented to the HC bench of Justice Md Ruhul Quddus and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman on Tuesday.

“The expression of embarrassment by the High Court is really strange,” said Sara Hossain who appeared for Alam in court.

The latest move will delay the bail hearing in the ICT case against Alam.

Apart from Hossain, Shahdeen Malik and Jyotirmoy Barua were present in court to represent Alam.

Deputy Attorney General Aravind Kumar Ray represented the government.

“We want an opportunity for the hearing and every citizen has the right to court hearings. We wanted to know why the appeal would not be heard after the court put it on its agenda for five days,” Hossain said.

“We are taking the reality into account. Is it today’s reality that a false case is filed against somebody, the person is held in police custody and an effort to seek bail is hampered?” she said.

Hossain said people go to court for justice “And if the top court turns the justice seekers away, I don’t know where they will go and seek justice.”

On Monday, the bail application was on the agenda for the hearing. But Ray sought time until Tuesday saying the attorney general wanted to be present in court during the hearing.

Shahidul, 63, is now behind bars on charges of “spreading lies” via Facebook.

On Aug 5, the photographer was arrested by the law enforcement agencies from his home in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi.

On Aug 6, the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate court rejected the bail application from Alam in the case.

On Aug 14, the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court set Sep 11 for hearing the case in response to an application.

Then, on Aug 19, the court turned down an appeal seeking to hear the case earlier.

Later on Aug 28, another appeal seeking Alam’s bail was filed to the High Court.

Now, according to the rules, the bail application will go to the chief justice. He will send the application to a new bench for a hearing.

Hossain said that they would appeal to the chief justice to begin a hearing as soon as possible. 

Alam, who is also the founder of Pathshala South Asian Media Institute, is also involved in the human rights movement.

He took to Facebook criticising the government’s handling of street protests in the Jigatala area for safer roads.

He also criticised the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in an interview with Al Jazeera.