The High Court Division on Monday granted four weeks’ anticipatory bail to daily Prothom Alo editor and publisher Matiur Rahman in a case of his alleged negligence causing death of Dhaka Residential Model College student Naimul Abrar Rahat by electrocution on November 1, 2019.
A bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice AKM Zahirul Huq also directed Matiur Rahman to surrender in the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court within four weeks.
The bench directed the CMM’s court to consider Matiur Rahman’s regular bail as ‘the case is bailable’.
During the hearing, the bench says, ‘We notice that the lower courts are not granting bails even in bailabe cases and that is why we need to hear such matters.’
The bench, however, directed the police not to arrest or harass the daily’s deputy editor and monthly magazine Kishor Alo editor Anisul Hoque, the magazine’s head of event activation Kabir Bakul, event activation executives Shuvashis Pramanik Shovo and Shahporan Tushar and senior sub-editor Mohitul Alam Pavel until the trial court frames charge in the case.
The bench issued the directive after hearing bail petitions of Matiur Rahman and five other journalists.
Petitioners’ lawyer M Amirul Islam submitted that Matiur Rahman and the five other journalists were implicated in the Abrar’s case only to harassment them.
He also submitted that Abrar’s case was filed against Matiur Rahman to harass him for the same motive under which 100 defamation cases were filed against earlier.
He submitted that the latest case was filed against Matiur Rahman and the unnamed persons under pressure from the government on November 6, 2019, five days after the death of Abrar, a class nine student of DRMC although the victim’s father Mujibur Rahman took his son’s body giving undertake to Mohammapur police station’s officer-in-charge that he had no complaint for his son’s death.
The bail petition was vehemently opposed by additional attorney general Momotazuddin Fakir stating that Abrar died due to ‘pre-planned negligence of the accused petitioners.’
He submitted that due to negligence Abrar was taken to Universal Medical College Hospital at Mohakhali instead of the nearby Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital that caused his death.
On Thursday Dhaka court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate issued warrants to arrest 10 people including Matiur Rahman after taking into cognizance a police probe report that alleged that due to the negligence of 10 accused during an event organized by Kishor Alo caused death of Abrar Rahat by electrocution on November 1, 2019.
Four other indicted accused in the case are generator and decoration workers Jashim Uddin, Mosharraf Hossain, Sujon and Kamrul Howlader.
The case was recorded under Section 304(A) of the Penal Code that stipulates five years’ imprisonment with fine as the maximum punishment.
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