HC issues rule on formulation of policy over handcuffing, shackling of accused31 January 2023
Staff Reporter :
The High Court has questioned the legality of the government bodies' brutal attitudes of handcuffing and bar fettering of the prisoners during their release on parole.
It has issued a rule upon the government bodies to explain as to why arbitrary and unreasonable imposition of the provisions of the Prisons Act and the Jail Code relating to the imposition of handcuffs and bar fetters upon the general prisoners should not be declared illegal.
Home Secretary, Law Secretary, Inspector General of Police, Inspector General of Prisons, Deputy Commissioners of Dhaka and Gazipur, Superintendent of Police Gazipur, Jailor of Kashimpur Central jail and other respondents have been asked to comply with the rule within four weeks.
The High Court Bench of Justice K M Kamrul Kader and Justice Mohammad Ali passed the order on Monday after hearing a writ petition filed in this regard.
In the rule, the HC also wanted to know as to why the government should not be directed to form a high-powered committee for recommending appropriate guidelines relating to imposition of handcuffs and bar fetters upon the prisoners.
The HC also asked the respondents to explain as to why they should not be directed to pay a reasonable compensation to two under trial prisoners, Md Ali Azam Khan of Kaliakoir upazila under Gazipur district and Selim Reza of Shariatpur Sadar upazila, as they had been subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments by imposing handcuffs and bar fetters while they were attending the namaz-e-janaza of their late mothers recently.
Barrister Kayser Kamal, a Supreme Court Lawyer and also Legal Affairs Secretary of BNP, filed the writ petition as a public interest litigation last week.
Two under trial prisoners, Md Ali Azam Khan of Kaliakoir upazila under Gazipur district and Selim Reza of Shariatpur Sadar upazila, who are involved with the BNP politics, had attended the namaz-e-janaza of their late mothers on December 20 in 2022 and January 15 in 2023 respectively having been released on parole from jail with handcuffs and bar fetters.
The incidents have touched off an outrage among the common people and the rights activists. Rights bodies have termed it a violation of human rights and a punishable offence.
Barrister Kayser Kamal who argued in the court hearing in support of his writ petition said, "No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading punishment or treatment, as per the Article 35(5) of the Constitution."