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HC wants to listen Jahlam's anguishing tale from him

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11th-Apr-2019       
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Staff Reporter
The High Court (HC) on Wednesday wanted to listen to the anguishing tale of Jahlam, who passed three years in jail whereas the real accused was at large. That is why, the High Court asked Jahlam to appear in the court next Wednesday.
Jahlam was imprisoned in corruption cases filed against Abu Salek, a businessman. He got released from jail on February 4 in a HC order.
The HC passed the order while it was hearing a rule issued by it on January 28 over Jahlam's imprisonment.
The HC bench of Justice F R M Nazmul Ahasan and Justice K M Kamrul Kader  gave one week time to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for submitting documents over the cases in which Jahlam suffered in jail.
The court passed the order after ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan prayed to give more time to submit the documents.            
During the proceedings, Supreme Court lawyer Amit Das Gupta, who moved for Jahlam's release, told the court that the victim would appear in the court for explaining how he was arrested and suffered in jail if the court permitted. Jahlam was on the court premises yesterday, he informed the court.
Then, the court asked Amit Das to produce Jahlam in it next Wednesday.
The ACC filed 33 cases against innocent Jahlam after identifying him as Abu Salek, the real accused, for the misappropriation of Tk 18.5 crore of Sonali Bank's Cantonment Branch. Later the ACC arrested Jahlam on February 6, 2016.
Recently, different media outlets reported that Jahlam was wrongly accused, after which the ACC investigated the matter further. Then the commission found the claim to be true.
On January 28, the HC bench issued a Suo Moto rule following a report published in a Bengali daily on the day under the headline "Wrong accused in jail in 33 cases : Sir, I am Jaha Alam, not Salek." After hearing, the HC on February 3 directed the jail authorities to release Jahlam.
After the HC order he was released from prison on February 4.
Between 2010 and 2011, Abu Salek, a businessman, misappropriated about Tk 18 crore from Sonali Bank's Cantonment Branch. Salek used a fake address to open an account with the bank, the ACC said.
Salek had also an account in another private bank, ACC sources said. In 2012, the anti-graft watchdog filed the 33 cases for the misappropriation, and Salek was made accused in most of them. During investigation, the commission asked the banks' officials to identify and trace Salek.
The officials informed the ACC that the address provided by Salek in his bank documents was in Tangail's Nagarpur, Jahlam's village address, ACC sources said.
The commission then summoned Jahlam in its office where the bank officials, including the account's introducers, were present.
Jahlam, a worker of Bangladesh Jute Mills at Ghorashal in Narsingdi, went to ACC and claimed that he was not Abu Salek and he did not have any account in the Sonali Bank and the picture which was used to open the account was not his picture.
But the bank officers, who were present in the ACC that day, identified Jahlam as Abu Salek. The ACC arrested Jahlam from Ghorashal in the month of February of 2016.
Later in the court, Jahlam described the issue of identity confusion and claimed himself innocent. But no one listened to him. So, he served the jail in place of Abu Salek and appearing in the court regularly.
Jahlam passed about three years in jail. But now ACC is saying that Jahlam is innocent.

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