Sedition case against Mujahid, Kader, Hannan hits a snag Police refuse to register FIR; individual cannot file sedition case, says Mainul

by Priyo Australia | December 6, 2007 10:05 pm

The Tejgaon police on Thursday refused to register the first information report of the sedition case against Ali Ahsan Mujahid and Abdul Kader Molla, secretary general and assistant secretary general respectively of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, and Shah Mohammad Abdul Hannan, former chairman of the National Board of Revenue, and sent the case back to the court.

The officer-in-charge of the Tejgaon police station, Lutfur Rahman, made a submission to the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate at around 1:00pm, saying the FIR could not be registered as the plaintiff in the case had not obtained a sanction from the government.

He claimed that the sanction was a prerequisite for filing such a case under the law.

The police’s refusal to register the FIR of the sedition case came within a couple of hours of the law and information adviser to the military-driven interim government, Mainul Hosein, telling journalists that ‘an individual cannot sue anyone on sedition and treason charges.’

Two former judges of the High Court said Mainul’s comments and the police’s refusal to register the FIR of the case were in contravention of the relevant laws.

Mainul’s comment also contradicted the remarks of the chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, on trial of war criminals, they said.

Fakhruddin said at a meeting with the editors of national dailies, news agencies, and television and radio channels on October 31 that his government would welcome it, if any aggrieved person moved legally for trial of war criminals.

Fazlur Rahman of village Dakkhin Ramerkanda in Keraniganj, who took part in the war of independence under sector 2, lodged the case against Mujahid, Kader Molla and Hannan with the chief metropolitan magistrate’s course on Wednesday under the Penal Code.

Fazlur Rahman accused the three of anti-independence activities in 1971 and of making derogatory comments about the war of independence recently.

The court, presided over by Emran Hossain Chowdhury, admitted the case, which was filed under sections 121A and 123A of the Penal and ordered the Tejgaon police station to register it as a first information report.

On Thursday, however, as the police expressed its inability to register the FIR, the chief metropolitan magistrate, referred the case to the court of Emran Hossain Chowdhury, who kept the police report in file and fixed December 12 for the next order.

Earlier, at around 11:00am, Mainul told journalists at his office in the law ministry, ‘Sedition case cannot be filed at an individual level… can consult with the lawyers who can explain the matter better.’

Asked whether the government would initiate any legal move for trial of war criminals, he said, ‘It is a complicated issue…. What did they [those who were in power] do in the past 36 years?’

Many such issues have come up in recent days that belittled the image of the country, he added.

The two former judges of the High Court differed with Mainul’s opinion.

According to section 44 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is the duty of any person to inform the court or the police of commission or intention for commission of some offences including treason and sedition, they said.

Section 44 says: ‘Every person, aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person to commit any offence punishable under any of the following section of the Penal Code (namely) 121, 121A…., shall, in the absence of reasonable excuse, …forthwith give the information to the nearest magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention.’

Although section 196 of the criminal code bars any court to take cognisance of any offence of sedition and treason under section 121A and 123A of the Penal Code without sanction from the government for the case, the magistrate should initiate the proceedings in any case filed on the charges by any individual even, the High Court judges said, referring to several provisions of the law.

According to them, as the case was filed with the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court and the court ordered the police to record it as an FIR, it was the duty of the officer-in-charge of the Tejgaon police station to record the FIR and then to refer the matter to the government seeking its sanction for the investigation of the case.

Lutfar Rahman confirmed that the case documents had been returned to the chief metropolitan magistrate’s court.

‘The case documents were returned to the CMM court as no sanction of the government was available,’ he said when talking to New Age on Thursday.

The officer-in-charge of the Tejgaon police station said the police ‘did not seek the sanction, as we did not lodge the case.’

‘We have simply reported to the court that we cannot record the FIR due to non-availability of the sanction of the government and now the court may decide the next course of action in the case,’ he said.

The two former judges of the High Court, however, believe that the police officer should have sought the government’s sanction for the case, and that the magistrate now has to refer the matter to the government for the sanction in accordance with the law.

source news from newage[1] | link and news by Raihan Amin

  1. source news from newage:

Source URL: