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HC bail for convicted land ministry official not justified: SC

Published : 26 Sep 2022 09:47 PM

An accused in a non-bailable case may be released on bail on the grounds of age and physical infirmity, but no bail can be granted where the accused is convicted in a criminal case.

The High Court, however, on July 14 granted six months’ ad-interim bail to land ministry’s former administrative officer Kutub Uddin Ahmed, who was jailed for five years in a case filed for allotting a plot of 10 katha based on false documents.

Later on August 31, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court scrapped the High Court bail to Kutub Uddin Ahmed in the forgery case.  

 The Appellate Division in its judgement said that the bail order given by the High Court to the convicted land ministry’s former official in the criminal case was not justified. The bail decision was reckless and unjust.

The apex court in the verdict, however, observed that there is no opportunity to grant bail to any convicted criminal only on the basis of age and physical illness. In such a situation, the depth of the crime must be considered.

The three-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by acting Chief Justice Md Nuruzzaman, made such an observation in the judgement. The two other members of the bench are Justice Borhan Uddin and Justice Krishna Debnath.

The judgement has been released. Lawyer of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Khurshid Alam Khan confirmed the matter on Monday (September 26).

In the verdict, the apex court said that granting bail is a discretionary power of the court. If the offense is bailable, the accused under trial must be granted bail. If the offense is non-bailable, the court has the option to consider bail for illness and woman and child prisoners. However, the issue of granting bail to the under-trial or convicted person is completely different. There is no opportunity to match together.

A special court of Dhaka on February 14 in 2019 awarded jail terms for five years to Kutub Uddin Ahmed. 

The ACC on April 8 in 2018 arrested Kutub Uddin Ahmed, the-then personal secretary to the-then land minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif, from Segunbachicha area in the capital. 

A case was filed against him with the Gulshan police station for influencing allocation of a 10-katha plot in Gulshan in the name of some people, including his father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Kutub Uddin Ahmed was arrested in 2007 during the country-wide drive against corruption under the army-backed interim government and he was later jailed for 13 years for possessing wealth beyond his known sources of income.

The High Court later acquitted Kutub Uddin Ahmed of the charge after hearing his appeal.

The ACC appeal against Kutub’s acquittal is pending for hearing with the Appellate Division.

According to the case statement, Kutub Uddin Ahmed allotted a 10 katha plot in Gulshan in the name of his father-in-law and others through fake affidavit and land survey documents. But in reality the land had been occupied by him.

He showed one Nazmul Islam Sayeed as a fake land surveyor and three including his father-in-law Abdul Jalil Mridha as buyers.

Although the land was purchased in the name of his father-in-law, it had been occupied by Kutub Uddin Ahmed from the beginning.