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SC strips Kamrunnahar of judicial power

Her observation in verdict of Raintree hotel rape case invites the action

Published : 22 Nov 2021 10:41 PM

The judicial power of Mosammat Kamrunnahar, who was relieved from Dhaka’s Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-7 after a controversial observation, was finally stripped by the apex court. 

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has seized the judicial authority. The SC issued an order in this regard on Monday (November 22), reads a statement signed by Supreme Court’s Special Officer Muhammad Saifur Rahman. The court will publish the full verdict later.

The statement says that Judge Kamrunnahar won’t be able to preside over any criminal cases. 

Earlier in the morning, Kamrunnahar appeared before the five-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain in connection with a case in which she granted bail to a rape accused despite the court’s stay order on the bail. No lawyers, journalists, or court officials were allowed in the courtroom at the time.

She apologized to the Appellate Division for granting the bail. She is currently added to the Law Ministry.

On November 11, Kamrunnahar acquitted Shafat Ahmed, the son of an Apan Jewellers owner, and four others of charges of raping two university students at the Raintree Hotel in Dhaka's Banani in 2017. In her observation, she said that police should not record a case 72 hours after a rape incident. The observation drew huge criticism from various sections of society.

Following the observation, Kamrunnahar was withdrawn from her workplace and attached to the Law and Justice Division.

On November 14, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain temporarily stripped of her judicial power and ordered her not to attend court proceedings. 

On November 15, Kamrunnahar appeared before the Appellate Division to give her explanation. On Monday, she appeared before the court to attend a hearing on the matter.

Aslam Sikder, a former program manager of a private television station, was granted bail by the High Court on June 18 in 2019 in a rape case. The state appealed to the Appellate Division against the bail order. Following the application, the Chamber Court stayed the bail on June 25 of the same year and referred the matter to the regular bench of the Appellate Division for hearing.

Despite the appeal being pending in the Appellate Division, the Women and Child Abuse Suppression Tribunal-7 granted bail to the accused on March 2 last year. The state brought the matter to the court even after the stay order of the Supreme Court.

In view of this, on March 12 last year, the Appellate Division directed the judge concerned to appear before the court for explanation.