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'Jail now possible for telling truth'

Edit Date:10/1/2010 12:00:00 AM


'Jail now possible for telling truth'

Fri, Oct 1st, 2010 10:28 pm BdST
Dhaka, Oct 1 (bdnews24.com)—One of the top lawyers in Bangladesh says people can go behind bars for speaking the truth. 

Barrister Rafiq-ul-Haque said the situation has come to such a pass that "we will be jailed if we speak the truth and freed if we lie." 

He made the comments at a roundtable discussion at the National Press Club on Friday. "The number of court contempt charges will be increased if the honour of the court is compromised," Haque said. 

"The country cannot move forward in this way," he added. 

In response to what the new chief justice said about chamber judges court, Haque said, "Bengali daily Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman was jailed and fined over publishing report on the court." 

New chief justice A B M Khairul Haque on Thursday said: "The duty of the chamber judges court is to issue stay orders as one side (loser) goes to the court." 

A report titled "Chamber Judges Court means stay order for the state" was published in the Bengali daily. 

Oliullah Noman, the reporter who was punished for writing the report, said, "Though I have no idea about what was wrong with the report, I was jailed." 

The senior lawyer also said, "The country will be the golden Bengal if the chief justice and other judges follow what he said regarding human rights and the rule of law." 

Supreme Court Bar Association president Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Language movement veteran Abdul Matin, journalists, university teachers and politicians were also present at the discussion, organised by Energy Solution of Bangladesh. 

Matin said, "There will be no jail if everyone is jailed." 

"We have to solve the current situation of the country and continue protest demanding the freedom of media," he stressed. 

SCBA president Hossain urged everyone to be alert to uphold people's confidence in the judiciary. 

He said, "The Court Contempt Act will not be able to uphold the court's honour if the court is not able to do that itself." 

He also stressed on modernising the relevant act of 1926. 

Journalist Ataus Samad slated attorney general Mahbubey Alam following his speech delivered at the farewell of the outgoing chief justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim, saying, "If I were a relative of the attorney general, I will call his comments disrespectful." 

Alam on Wednesday accused the outgoing chief justice of trampling the constitution. 

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