The High Court Division on Thursday stayed for three months probes against social activist and acclaimed photographer Shahidul Alam by the Detective Branch in a case under the repealed draconian Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act.
In a ruling, the court asked the home secretary, the inspector general of police, the DB, Ramna police station officer-in-charge and Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate to explain in four weeks why the probes under the repealed Section 57 of ICT Act would not be declared as illegal as the repealed Section was contradictory to the Digital Security Act 2018 and ultra vires to articles 27, 31and 39 of the Constitution.
After the hearing, attorney general Mahbubey Alam told reporters that the government would appeal against the stay order.
A bench of Justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and Justice Razik-Al-Jalil issued the orders after hearing Shahidul Alam’s writ petition.
The hearing was deferred five times on request for time by the attorney general.
On March 3 Shahidul Alam filed the writ petition.
Former attorney general AF Hassan Ariff and Barrister Sara Hossain appeared for Shahidul Alam.
On the midnight of August 5, 2017, DB men in plain clothes picked up 63-year Shahidul Alam from his Dhanmondi residence without showing any warrant or ground.
Fifteen hours after he was picked up, the Detective Branch filed a case against him under the now repealed Section 57 of the ICT Act which was later replaced by the Digital Security Act alleging that he had instigated school children’s movement for road safety in July 2018.
Shahidul Alam was detained in Dhaka Central Jail for 108 days was released on bail on November 20, 2018 on High Court Division’s order.
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