The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has upheld the High Court order that granted bail to five day-labourers of the Hindu community, who were arrested and languished in jail on false charges after falling into a cheating trap.
Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Obaidul Hasan passed ‘no order’ on Tuesday on an appeal petition filed by the state side against the High Court order.
During the hearing, the court said, “They (five farmers) do not know anything. The farmers are victims of a cheating trap.”
Deputy Attorney General Sarwar Hossain Bappi appeared for the state in the court. Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir stood for the arrested day-labourers. He provided Pro Bono (legal aid) support to the victims.
Earlier on October 6, the High Court bench of Justice Mostafa Zaman Islam and Justice Mohammad Ali granted the bail to the five poor farmers in a case filed on charge of embezzling government funds.
Later, the state side filed an appeal petition to the Chamber Judge challenging the High Court’s bail order.
Four of the five people of the Hindu community were arrested and languished in jail some months ago after lakhs of money were deposited to bank accounts of five people through a fraud gang.
Advocate Shishir Manir filed the bail petition on behalf of the five people on October 3 after a news item was published in the media.
The five poor people are Ranjit Kumar alias Ranjit Kumar Roy, Provas Chandra Roy, Komol Chandra Roy, Subal Chandra Mohanta and Fulmoni Rani of Naodabos village under Fulbari Police Station in Kurigram. Four of them were arrested and languished in jail. Subal Chandra Mohanta was on the run.
Advocate Shishir Manir told the High Court on October 6 that his clients are very poor and innocent. A gang of organised criminals sent money to their bank accounts to misappropriate government funds. The people from disadvantaged backgrounds were implicated in the ‘false’ case and they are victims of circumstances.
On July 15, a news was published titled ‘Four day-labourers in jail after falling into cheating trap in the name of Covid-19 incentive’.
According to the media report, Rezaul Haque, manager of Sreepur headquarters branch of Sonali Bank, filed the case against nine people, including two government officials and the five day-labourers, with the Sreepur Police Station in Gazipur on July 1 for allegedly trying to embezzle about Tk 2.5 crore through fraud.
Alongside the day-labourers, Accounting Officer of Sreepur Upazila Bazlur Rashid, Auditor of the Accounts Office Arifur Rahman, Masterroll employee Tanvir Islam Swapan and Shahena Akter of Uttarkhan Jamtala area in Dhaka were also accused in the case.
Later on July 2, police arrested four day-labourers from their homes.
Families of the five-day labourers claimed that they had become victims of cheating. They are not involved in embezzling money. They have been implicated as they are indigent people. They have no other assets except the homestead.
The five people had never been to Gazipur. Tanvir Islam Swapan had taken them. He told them that each of the day-labourers would be given an incentive of one lakh taka. They were waiting for the incentive. But police came to the houses of five victims and arrested four people on false charges. Another was not home at the time and escaped the arrest.
It was known that shortly after the bank account was opened, a total of Tk 2,46,9,960 were deposited to the accounts of the five day-labourers. Of these, Tk 48,45,720 were deposited to the account of Ranjit, while Tk 65,72,120 to Prabas’s account, Tk 40,71,720 Subal’s account, Tk 42,49,880 to Kamal’s account and Tk 47,70,520 to Fulmani Rani’s account.
However, the day labourers did not know anything about account numbers in their names.