The High Court today granted six months' ad-interim bail to an "innocent man" named Manik Hawlader, who has been serving a jail sentence instead of the convict in a drug case.
At the same time, the High Court ordered convict Manik Miah of Shariatpur's Bhedarganj to surrender before the trial court concerned immediately in connection with the case.
While hearing a writ petition, the HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam also ordered the district and sessions judge of Shariatpur to send all relevant documents of the case to the court in 30 days.
The chief judicial magistrate of Shariatpur also asked to record statements from the investigation officers of the case about implicating Manik Hawlader and to send the statement to the HC in 30 days, Deputy Attorney General Tushar Kanti Roy told The Daily Star.
He said the HC bench sought the case documents and statements of investigation officers to examine why Manik Hawlader has been implicated and sent to jail instead of convicted Manik Miah and who are responsible for this.
Meanwhile, petitioner's lawyer Partha Sarathi Ray told The Daily Star Shariatpur's Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Shamsul Alam today submitted a judicial probe report to the HC bench saying that Manik Hawlader is innocent.
Manik Hawlader and Manik Miah are two different people and there is no similarity in their names, he added, citing the judicial probe report.
Following the petition filed by Manik Hawlader's wife Salma Begum, the HC bench on March 7 directed the chief judicial magistrate of Shariatpur to conduct a judicial enquiry into the allegation of Manik Hawlader serving jail sentence instead of the convict Manik Miah in connection with the drug related case and to submit the probe report.
Special Tribunal-1 of Sirajganj and its jail super were asked to provide assistance to the chief judicial magistrate of Shariatpur in conducting the investigation.
Manik Hawlader has been in Sirajganj jail since he was arrested on November 28 last year in connection with the case.
The HC also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain why arresting Manik Hawlader and sending him to jail without verifying the authenticity of names, addresses and other details of both Manik Hawlader and Manik Miah should not be declared illegal.
In the rule, the court asked them to "show cause" why they should not be directed to release Manik Hawlader from jail.
Home Ministry's secretary, Law Ministry's secretary, deputy commissioner and CJM of Shariatpur, deputy commissioner of Sirajganj, judge of Special Tribunal-1 of Sirajganj, jailer of the district and other officials concerned have been made respondents to the rule.
Sirajganj's Special Tribunal-1 convicted and sentenced Manik Miah to four years' imprisonment on February 11, 2019 for possessing 600 bottles of phensidyl.
But before the judgement, Manik Miah secured bail from the HC and then absconded, DAG Tushar Kanti Roy said.
In the bail bond documents, the convict mentioned his name as Manik Hawlader, DAG Tushar said.
Later police arrested Manik Hawlader on January 13 instead of Manik Miah, he added.