Wednesday, 26 January 2011

JUDICIARY GRAFT: Probe harassment allegations: CJ

The chief justice has asked the committee, formed to investigate corruption in the judiciary, to look into allegations why petitioners were harassed after getting bails.

A B M Khairul Haque sent a letter in this regard to the committee chairman, Surendra Kumar Sinha, on Wednesday, three days after it was formed.

A top Supreme Court official, requesting anonymity, told that the chief justice requested the committee to investigate why two petitioners were harassed and "whether there was any element of corruption in the matter".

According to documents, the High Court on Nov 7, 2010 granted bail to Barik Mia and Mantu Mia in a case filed in Moulvibazar under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act.

A copy of the order was sent to Moulvibazar tribunal on Dec 23. Office secretary of the tribunal Mohammad Ashraf Hossain received the copy on Jan 10.

The tribunal judge the following day ordered inclusion of the bail order in the case document. But, the order was included in the document of the 'case number five of 2010' instead of 'case number five of 2009'.

The Supreme Court official said one of the relatives of the accused brought the matter to the chief justice's notice.

Haque immediately asked the committee to investigate the matter.

The tribunal's judge ordered its officials 'Mosharaf' and Aslam Uddin to explain within a day why steps should not be taken against them after the Supreme Court had communicated with the tribunal about the matter.

The Supreme Court formed the committee to investigate corruption in the judiciary, following a report of the Transparency International, Bangladesh, which said the High Court has the worst record of corruption in the judiciary.

The top court sought information from the TIB about its report, formed an evaluation committee and sat with the TIB officials.

The committee later in its report termed the survey report unreliable, saying that the questionnaire, answers and methodology were not satisfactory and the respondents were irresponsible.

Besides, the TIB admitted that they had no specific information against any judge of the Supreme Court or the High Court.

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