High Court orders OC’s transfer over sentencing of suspect by mobile court

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The officer in question is Shahjahan, officer-in-charge of Lohagara Police Station in Chittagong.

Justice Syed Muhammad Dastagir Husain and Justice Md Ataur Rahman Khan passed the order on Monday.

The court exempted Executive Magistrate Mahbub Alam, Lohagara Sub-Inspector Helal Khan and ASI Wasim Mia, after they pledged to be more careful in future.

Former law ministers Moudud Ahmed and Abdul Matin Khasru argued for Mahbub and three police officers. Advocate Manzil Morshed represented the petitioner.

“The court had summoned the three to hear their explanation over setting up a mobile court to penalise a criminal case suspect who was in the custody of Lohagara police,” Manzil told reporters.

“We pleaded the court to block the powers of the magistrate but the defendants’ lawyers noted that the rule was not disposed of yet. So the court accepted their apologies.

“They no longer have to appear in the hearings until the rule is disposed of, as per the latest order,” said Advocate Manzil.

Mahbub Alam, OC Shahjahan, SI Helal and ASI Wasim were present in the dock.

The same HC bench had heard a writ petition against them on Jan 14 when it issued a rule asking why it should not order legal actions against them over the matter.

It also sought explanations on why the petitioner should not be paid Tk 2 million as compensation.

The home secretary, the Lohagara UNO and three others were asked to respond within four weeks.

The mobile court of executive magistrate Mahbub Alam ordered an eight-month jail term for petitioner Belal Hossain on charges of possessing marihuana.

Hossain, a resident of Adhunagar in Lohagara, took the issue to the High Court to challenge the legality of the mobile court’s order.

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