Senior Assistant Judge Javed Imam on Monday secured six-month’s ad-interim bail from the High Court after being held for allegedly possessing contraband Phensydyl syrup.
The bench of justices Quamrul Islam Siddiqui and Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain also asked the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka to furnish any possible reason within four weeks, for which Imam could be denied bail.
Police nabbed the Bhola district judge on Dec 1 from the city’s Nilkhet area for allegedly possessing 342 bottles of phensydyl. The law enforcers also claimed they found a pistol on him.
Defence counsel Ruhul Kuddus Kajol told bdnews24.com that the whole affair was a conspiracy. “The accused are not brought before the media even when larger shipments are seized. But my client Imam was dragged in front of the media and this is a conspiracy,” he said.
He argued that nothing should stand in the way for Imam to get bail, as there was “no real case against him”.
However, Deputy Attorney General Abdullah Al Mamun told journalists that the prosecution will challenge the decision.
After his detention, the judge was produced before reporters in the New Market Police Station later in the night for confession.
A case was filed under the Narcotics Control Act against Imam on Dec 2 at the New Market Police Station. Police pressed the charges in the court against him on Dec 20.
Apparently irked by the incident, the High Court on Dec 5 said presenting anybody in the custody of a law-enforcing agency before the media is a violation of law and the Constitution.
Legally, it is only possible to record a confessional statement in the presence of a magistrate, the court said.
However, presenting those arrested before the media has become a regular phenomenon in Bangladesh, especially by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
Imam joined as an assistant judge in 2008 after graduating in law from the University of Rajshahi in 2004. He was recently transferred from Jessore to Bhola .
Imam claimed he was on leave after joining his new workplace on Nov 8.
The defendant’s lawyer Kajol said he had moved the High Court seeking bail after the lower court on Dec 18 scrapped the same plea.