12 December 2023, Tue, 11:37

Advocate Matiur Rahman Akanda has addressed a press conference in regards to some recent verdicts and the overall picture of the judiciary

Bangladesh Supreme Court’s lawyer and Bangladesh Lawyer’s council Secretary Advocate Matiur Rahman Akanda has addressed a press conference in regards to some recent verdicts and the overall picture of the judiciary. Among others, Jamaat-e-Islami’s central executive committee member Mubarak Hossain, Supreme Court lawyer Advocate Abdur Razzaq, Advocate S M Kamal Uddin, Advocate Dr. Helal Uddin, Advocate Abu Bakar Siddique, Advocate Lutfor Rahman Azad, Advocate Azmat Hossain and several other lawyers were present in the press meet.

Address of Advocate Matiur Rahman Akanda is given below:

Dear journalists, the conscience of the nation,
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah.

You all have been invited here within a short notice. But you have responded tremendously. This is why, on my personal behalf and on behalf of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, I am thanking you all.

Fellow journalists,
All of you are informed that Bangladesh is crossing a critical juncture. You are watching crowd in the court premise everyday and realizing that they have come here to receive justice. But when these people are getting the victim of injustice, we become shocked. We are engaged in legal profession and give any reference, then it is often said, these are legal books, and we will read it later. When such comment comes from a chair, we become anxious. A trial must be proceeded in accordance with the legal reference. But when it is stated that from the upper position, we lose our words. Through the newspapers, you all have read a comment of one of the justices of a High Court bench. He said, save the 18 crores of people, save the judiciary. Such an appeal from a High Court justice has drawn the attention of the countrymen.

Just a day back, on yesterday we have seen a verdict of a case, which had been filed in 2013. One of the accused of the case, Jamaat-e-Islami’s central working committee member and Dhaka south city secretary Dr. Shafiqul Islam Masud. Along with him, two other persons who are already behind the bar and another 7 leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party have been awarded with imprisonment. They all have been sentenced with two years and 6 months of detention. During the trial process, we could not give all privilege to the accused. They did not get the legal remedy. They have been made deprived from justice and already they instructed to file appeal plea against this verdict. At present, we are saying nothing more about this case as it is a judicial matter. We are optimistic that, this verdict will not be uphold in the appeal court and all of the convicted personnel will get acquittal ultimately.

One more thing to be added, many of the justices of the apex court are addressing various social functions. It has been revealed through a newspaper report, more than 50 lac cases are pending and most of these cases are political which had been filed during the period from 2010-2013 to serve some ill-political interest. There are also some general cases, murder cases etc. There are many cases in line with the social crimes. But these cases have been neglected and only those cases have been brought in forth which may be fit deem to convict the opposition leaders and activists. Not only that, witness statements are being recorded till 9 pm and even in some cases, testimony is being recorded through mobile call just to make a hurry in completing the case. The conventional system of CRPC is also being violated. At this moment, I would like to recall the remark of former President of Supreme Court Bar Association, Advocate Khandaker Mahbub Hossain who had stated that, the lower courts have become subservient institutions of the government. He had said so from his experience and rationale observation but we are observing such scenario as reality. We are becoming the victim of such injustice. We want to get rid of this situation.

You have observed as well, who are being accused in political cases, are respected ones. But such honorable personnel are being produced before the court like thugs by putting helmets on their heads and bullet-proof jackets. What kind of message the authority is giving to the nation through such incidents? Why the administrative officers are exercising such ill-practices? We have drawn the attention of the courts in this regard for several times but did not get any remedy. If the honorable court ignores our petitions repeatedly then where we will go? When our lawyers, our clients are thronging to the court for certified copies, they are often told that those documents are not found. When the lawyers are filing revision through affidavit, the court is again instructing us to submit the certified copy. What will we do? By such hide and seek policy, our clients are being deprived from getting justices. We are very worried about the judicial status. We want to get remedy to these crises through the courts and judicial system.

There is an observation of the High Court about putting the accused on shackles. We have drawn the attention of the court about such observation but get no solution. Maulana Rafiqul Islam Khan is a respected and popular leader. He is a senate member of Rajshahi University. He is an educationist and political leader. He has secured hundred thousand votes in the previous election. In recent times, he is being produced before the court daily but he was put on shackles during every appearance. There is no logic behind such activities. We informed the court about this issue. The court said they will give an instruction but so far, we received nothing pleasant from them.

Dear journalists,
We are presenting all these issues for your consideration with a saddened heart on behalf of the convicted personnel. We have nowhere to go except keeping the nation updated. We have to get rid of this situation. Echoing the High Court justice, we also want to say, please save the judiciary. I am concluding my speech by thanking you all.

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.