The High Court (HC) has stayed for two months, the trial proceedings of three cases filed against photojournalist Shafiqul Islam Kajol under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
The bench of Justice A S M Abdul Mobin and Justice Md Atoar Rahman on Wednesday issued the order after hearing three appeals against the indictment orders issued by the Dhaka cyber tribunal against Kajol.
On 8 November 2021, the cyber tribunal in Dhaka framed charges against Kajol in three cases filed under the Digital Security Act (DSA).
It had also set 2 January this year for the formal trial to begin with the deposition of witnesses.
Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Kajol's lawyer, said, "The High Court accepted the appeals and stayed the trial proceedings for two months."
"During the hearing, I pointed out that although there was no element to frame the charges, the cyber tribunal indicted my client which needs to be scrutinised by the High Court," he said.
"The investigating officer in Magura-1 MP's case did not find any proof of the allegations brought against the editor and reporter of the daily Manab Zamin, but only found Kajol's involvement in sharing a report which is not legally acceptable," Barrister Jyotirmoy also said.
On 1 February, Kajol pleaded to the High Court, seeking cancellation of indictment orders against him in the DSA cases.
Kajol went missing on 10 March, 2020, a day after Magura-1 MP Saifuzzaman Shekhor filed a case against him and 31 others, including Manab Zamin Editor Matiur Rahman Chowdhury, at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station.
They were sued under the DSA for publishing and sharing an article on social media about expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Noor Papia.
Two other cases were filed against Kajol with Kamrangir Char and Hazaribagh police stations under the same act on 10 and 11 March last year.
After 53 days of disappearance, Kajol was detained by Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) near the Benapole border on 3 May 2020, and produced in a Jashore court on the same day.
He was sent to jail despite securing a bail in the case as Kotwali police brought another charge against him under Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
On 24 November 2020, the photojournalist secured bail in a case filed against him under the DSA.
On 17 December that year, the High Court granted him bail in two other cases filed under the DSA, clearing the way for his release.
He was freed from Dhaka Central Jail on 25 December last year.