HC exonerates errant lawyers from contempt of court charge; lower court sends 10 to jail in 2 criminal casesA High Court bench yesterday pardoned and exonerated 13 pro-BNP lawyers from contempt of court charges after most of them apologised for staging noisy protests in the courtroom early this month.
Judges AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Gobinda Chandra Tagore also vacated their earlier order that banned the lawyers from practising.
The lawyers, including detained BNP lawmaker Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia, offered unconditional apology to the judges after they were brought from Dhaka Central Jail and produced before the court.
Earlier in the day, a Dhaka magistrate court sent 10 of them to jail after they surrendered to the court seeking bail in two criminal cases filed on charges of assaulting police and obstructing them from duties on the Supreme Court premises on August 2 and 4.
Even though the lawyers have been pardoned for their misconduct in the court and exonerated from the contempt charges, they will still stay in jail until they obtain bail in the police assault charges.
The pardon came after Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain got involved in peace initiative made by senior lawyers aligned with both the ruling Awami League and opposition BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami.
The decision of offering apology by the opposition lawyers was taken at a meeting between the Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Supreme Court Bar Association President Khandker Mahbub Hossain on August 11 after the chief justice advised them to reach a compromise over the issue.
At lest seven senior lawyers including SCBA president and the attorney general also prayed the court to pardon the lawyers considering their young age and the good relationship between the judges and lawyers.
The move is expected to ease the tension that has gripped the lawyers in the High Court since Aug 2, when the same HC bench erupted into chaos after the judges cautioned BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for her recent remarks against the constitution following the 15th amendment.
The opposition-backed lawyers bust into protests after the judges observed that Khaleda's remarks that the constitution will be thrown away if her party comes to power is tantamount to sedition. A small missile was hurled at the judges during the pandemonium.
The 13 lawyers, who were banned by the HC, are Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papia, Gazi Kamrul Islam Sajal, Shahiduzzaman, Mirza Al Mahmud, Sharif Uddin Ahmed, Abdullah Al Mahmud, Enamul Hossain Gaffar, MU Ahmed, Mohammad Ali, MdAshrafuzzaman Khan, Towhidul Islam, Golam Nobi and Rezwan Ahmed.
Among them, MU Ahmed was not produced before the HC as he suffered a heart attack in police custody.
Also yesterday the aggrieved lawyers brought out a procession at the courthouse in old Dhaka and chanted slogans after the magistrate court rejected bail prayers