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HC orders biometric system at prisons, police stations

Published : 09 Sep 2021 10:02 PM | Updated : 07 Oct 2021 10:43 AM

The High Court has directed the authorities concerned to introduce the biometric system at all prisons and police stations across the country in phases in order to properly identify the accused of cases.

The higher court asked the Home Ministry and the jail authorities to take necessary steps to introduce the biometric data management system through the imaging of fingerprints, palm print and iris scans of the accused.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the directions on Thursday (September 9) on the final hearing of the rule issued on a writ petition.

Zahir Uddin from Basurhat area of Noakhali filed the writ petition, challenging the legality of a Dhaka court order that issued the arrest warrant against him in a case filed with Khilgaon Police Station in Dhaka in 2013.

Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir, a lawyer of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, appeared in the court for Zahir Uddin, a vice principal of an education institution, while Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state.

Advocate Shishir Manir told media that the High Court has issued three specific guidelines. These are-- Introduction of fingerprint, palm print and iris scans of the accused at all the police stations alongside the existing system; Capturing and integrating full-face photos (Mugsgot photographs) of the accused following arrests and storing them in the central database (integrated); and Introducing biometric data storage system at all prisons of the country by preserving fingerprint, palm print and iris scan.

The lawyer said, “I hope that if the guidelines are implemented, there will be a revolutionary change in the criminal justice system of Bangladesh. Many innocent people will be saved from harassment.”

Meanwhile, the HC bench also declared the arrest warrant, wrongly issued by the lower court against Zahir Uddin in a subversion case, as illegal. The arrest warrant was issued against Zahir Uddin instead of Modasser Ansari alias Mohaddes in Noakhali.

The real accused used the name of Zahir Uddin and fled abroad on bail. Later, the arrest warrant was issued against Zahir Uddin. The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has investigated the matter following an order of the higher court that was issued on March 0 last year.

The PBI submitted its report to the High Court stating that Zahir Uddin is innocent, while the real accused is another. His name is Modasser Ansari, who is now absconding.