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23.1 Human Rights and Criminal Justice System
Our criminal justice system is in the verge of collapse, but its steady decline. We have gone on piling up inexorable offences without corresponding increase in the investigation staff. Enactment of unenforceable laws has complicated the problem of law enforcement. The police are criticized, both for enforcement and failing to enforce them. The public criticism of their ineffectiveness is usually directed the police rather than to difficulties over which the police have no control, such as political interference. Full enforcement of our laws is physically impossible harmonization. Today, everyone - MPs, policemen, judges, lawyer and prison officials refuse to look beyond the passing day and are indirectly taking the country towards violence that is overtaking its political fabric. The legislators want the sort of law that can be broken with impunity. The police men's idealism is based on a crime-free area and an existence free of instant transfer. The lawyer's motivation is based not on the impartiality or the criminal processes but it is based entirely on client's fees for an acquittal. The judges are not more preoccupied
with the rights of our society. While new laws and few court decisions have been multiplying, few cases are registered due to widespread burking, fewer still reach the courts because of political interference and those few cases that come before courts are not decided over the years. Moreover, as the new laws pour out, the problem is to draw the line in each case between what the police must do, ought to do, can do can ignore and those they must not do.7
2.3.2 Efficacy of Bangladesh's Criminal Justice System
Different media report implies serious questions about the credibility of Bangladesh’s criminal justice system, including the investigation, prosecution and the judiciary, as well as the qualifications of the concerned professionals in those institutions.
There are many thrilling incident in the procedure of our judicial system. Each and every time, there is happen injustice in the name of justice. It is nothing more than hypocrisy with the judiciary. As for example, on 13 March 2008 that a court convicted three persons to rigorous life imprisonment, which is a 14-year sentence for the alleged kidnapping of a girl in Jhalakathi district, when the said crime did not in actual fact take place. According to the news report, Ms Liza Akther alias Fuli, who is now 19-years-old, fled from her maternal uncle’s house eight years ago as a result of intolerable treatment inflicted upon her by her uncle and aunt, Mr Anowar Hossain and his wife, Mrs Shefali Begum. Strangely, four years later, Mr Anwar lodged a complaint of kidnapping and trafficking with the Jhalkathi police station on 31 May 2004 against three persons; Mr Rustom Ali Shikdar, a petty fisherman, Mr Harun Hawladar, a day laborer, and Mr Nuru Hawladar, a small businessman. The Jhalkathi police recorded the case under the Women and Child Repression Prevention Act. After police investigation, the men were charged with kidnapping and trafficking and convicted of the same by the Special Tribunal of Women and Child Repression Prevention of Jhalkathi on 7 February 2007. The judge sentenced each of them to 14-years rigorous imprisonment with a fine of 10 000 taka. When the three men appealed the conviction before the High Court Division of the Supreme Court, bail was granted for Harun and Nuru, who were released from detention on February 27, while Rustom’s petition was rejected. When Liza heard that three persons had been convicted of her 'kidnapping', she immediately visited Jhalkathi and lodged a General Diary with the Jhalkathi police station. She also went to a Notary Public and recorded her testimony in an affidavit. Liza told the media that she had fled to Dhaka from her uncle's house following intolerable torture by her uncle and aunt, and managed to get a job in a garment factory. She later married a businessman. The lawyer of the three convicted persons, Mr Abdur Rashid Howlader, told reporters that Liza was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) Court on March 5, and the Court was requested to record her testimony in a petition. The CJM judge, Mr Reza Tarique Ahmad, who was also the judge of the Special Tribunal that initially found the three men guilty, rejected the petition however, and released Liza under her own custody.
The Officer-in-Charge of the Jhalkathi police station Mr AKM Faruk, while admitting this miscarriage of justice, told the media that one of the two investigation officers of this case, Inspector Mr Sohrab Ali, had already passed away while the other, Sub Inspector Mr Muzibur Rahman, was in service elsewhere. The families of the convicted men suffered immense loss, including financial and social dignity, following the case. In terms of civil and political rights guaranteed to citizens, this incident reveals gross abuses. Police investigators failed to critically examine the fabricated charge of kidnapping as well as of attributing the crime to these three suspects; the prosecutors failed to scrutinize evidence before filing charges; and the judiciary failed to ensure a fair trial. This type of injustice and gross violation of Human Rights, occur in our Judicial System in the most of the criminal cases. So it is the high time, to oblige policy makers to look into Bangladesh’s existing criminal justice system. The investigators, prosecutors and judges in this case created a case of fiction instead of facts while they arranged depositions from so called prosecution witnesses to convict the three men. This could only have happened amidst dysfunctional institutions. Government authorities, as well as professionals related to the justice delivery system, must ask themselves whether any of the three justice mechanisms have the necessary levels of efficiency, commitment and accountability required for upholding the law of the land. The three victims and their families need to be compensated for the grave suffering that has been caused to them. Moreover, the incident needs to be thoroughly investigated and all those directly involved as well as those indirectly involved by way of command responsibility should be brought to justice. Until this happens they should all be removed from the positions they hold within the criminal justice system of Bangladesh. But it is quite impossible in the reality of our complex judicial system. Actually both of our government and high police authority have lack wishlist to establish justice and remove the efficiency from our Criminal Judicial System, though it is urgently needed for established justice and development of Human Rights in our existing Criminal Judicial System.8

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