Remand process pricks conscience of judges: Guidelines must be enforced10 September 2021
Torture under police remand in our country has become a regular practice due to the prevailing culture of impunity for gross violations of human rights. In particular, violent torture, degrading and inhuman treatment are common practices against detainees during such remand.
It's true that an unholy nexus between law enforcement agencies and magistrates in dealing with cases of suspicious arrest without warrant results in providing unnecessary 'remand'. In most cases, this type of remand causes injuries or deaths to citizens who are not actually guilty.
There are widespread allegations that 'remand' is a profitable business for both law enforcers and a section of magistrates. It is so lucrative that High Court's guidelines are often not followed in the courts and the police stations.
Very recently, the incident of 'repeated remands' granted by the lower courts to film actress Shamsunnahar Smriti, popularly known as Pori Moni, ignited a huge controversy. Many raised questions why the Investigating Officer (of police) was praying to court for remands one after another.
The procedure of arresting Pori Moni from her Banani residence was also condemned by the HC. The HC Bench of Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice KM Zahid Sarwar passed the observation after holding hearing on a criminal revision petition filed by Pori Moni. The verbal order was passed on September 2 and full text released on September 7.
The HC bench earlier on September 2 sought explanations from two lower court judges Metropolitan Magistrates Devobrata Biswas and Atikul Islam. They placed Pori Moni on extended remand in the same case. They were asked to submit explanations before the HC in 10 days.
Not only that, the HC bench said metropolitan magistrates Devobrata Biswas and Atikul Islam should appear in person before the bench if their explanations on granting remand are not satisfactory.
At the same time, the HC summoned Investigation Officer Golam Mostafa to appear before it on September 15 with relevant documents to explain why he sought Pori Moni's remand for second and third terms.
Pori Moni however was granted bail and released from jail on September 1. The HC bench issued the orders after rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) filed a petition raising the question about the repeated remands allowing police to grill Pori Moni in custody.
"One should not be convicted through any unusual course like, trolling on personal life and liberty of citizen by any means before verdict coming from any appropriate court. Law has to be regarded as the foundation of civilized society," the HC in its observation said.
Expressing annoyance over the Investigation Officer's role, the HC also said, Police department must have to believe that human life is very precious. A police officer has to think first about the legal and basic issues before taking an accused in remand. But what is sad and more inhuman, the orders for remand are passed by lower courts. The society vests the highest level of trust in the police department. But the reality is our people are nobody in the country.
Not only abuse of power by police is fostered by our politics, abuse of power is the way of government. Thank God still we have some officers in every sphere who are incorruptible and humane. They are struggling to make people's life cruelty and hassle free.