Wednesday, November 21, 2012

4 Oct 2012: Tribunal threatens defense case close

On finding there was no further witnesses in Sayedee trial on that day, the Tribunal then passed an order:
Delwar Hossain Syedee has been produced today before this Tribunal. Today is fixed for defence witness. DW-8 Kobad Ali has been produced. He is examined on oath and also been cross examined. On being asked by the Tribunal Mr. Mizanul Islam said that the next witness is not present today. We have been watching the absence of the witnesses for several times. In almost every day the defence is presenting only one witness or no witness. The Prosecution has objected in the matter. This is a Tribunal which has been formed under ICT Act- 1973. The Act has provided that- the Tribunal will continue without any adjournments.

Time has now ripened to pass an appropriate order in this regard. We are just allowing one day for the last time to present the witness for the defence. The next Sunday is fixed for presenting the witnesses of this case.

In the failure to produce any witness the recording of the defense witness will be stopped.
The following interchange then took place.
Tajul Islam: My Lord, please consider the last line. It is so harsh for us to continue the proceeding.

Chairman: No, we have allowed you several adjournments. You are not complying our order to bring defense witnesses. We will not withdraw the last sentence. On next Sunday, go produce your witnesses. Then we will look at the matter.

Tajul Islam: It is not correct that we are not complying your order. We are bringing witnesses. Until today 8 defense witnesses have been examined and cross examined. Now we are having difficulty bringing witnesses as they are being threatened and asked to not give evidence for Sayedee. When the prosecution was facing difficulties in this case to bring prosecution witnesses you allowed adjournment for 17 times. You never passed any similar order to stop prosecution case on those occasions. For ends of justice we should be allowed adjournment to bring defense witnesses.

Chairman: according to law we are bound to continue trial without adjournment.

Islam: but in other cases you are giving long adjournments even the parties are not asking. In Chowdhury's case the lawyers wanted to fix the case on Sunday. But you fixed Monday for that case and said that that case may not be taken even on Monday. Why you are after Sayedee only? You have other cases. You are adjourning all other cases to expedite this case. We will be highly prejudiced if you do not allow us time. We have genuine difficulty brining DWs. If you do not consider this then who will consider?

Justice Jahangir Hossain: When we will see that a witness is not present then should we sit idle for the daylong?

Tajul Islam: The Prosecution has also done it. Then you were not so hard like today.

Justice Jahangir Hossain: We were very much annoyed with them also in that days.

Islam: You have allowed the prosecution case to continue for nine months. Now you want to close the defence case so quickly. Only one month has passed for the defence case. Why you are hurrying with this case?
Justice Anwarul Haque: You have produced one witness today. The honorable Chairman has told yesterday to produce all the witnesses. We are not here to sit workless. In High Court the days were sometimes like that we are not managing to complete the task in the end of the day for the workload. But here sometimes we are sitting idle for the absence of the witnesses.

Tajul Islam: You may pass the same order at the very first for both the sides. Now why would you do it when it is our turn to produce the witnesses? Are you doing justice for us?   
Member Judge Anwar Hossen: In 95% of the traditional trials in our country the defence does not bring any defense witnesses. Here in this case you have chosen to bring witnesses. So your witnesses should be ready. We will hear them one after another.

Islam: the prosecution was given nine months’ time to close their case. The defence case has passed for only one month. We should be given reasonable opportunity to bring defense witnesses.
Justice Jahangir Hossain: Mr. Counsel you are not supposed to ask questions like this. It is a Court you know it.

Tajul Islam: I’m not saying like this My Lord.

Justice Jahangir Hossain: What is your argument now?

Tajul Islam: We have only said that the DW is not present today and we have only prayed that you omit the last line in the order to stop the process.

Justice Anwarul Haque: The order has been passed by those words. It has been said that in case of the absence of the witnesses the recording of the DW will be stopped. But you know it has not been stopped already.

Justice Jahangir Hossain: There were so many verdicts like these on several judgment of the High Court division; but you know the proceeding had been continued.

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