A Hindu man in Chakaria of Cox's Bazar, Kajal Kanti Dey, married a Muslim girl by the name of Asma Akter and converted to Islam himself back in 2011. However, his father Swapan Kanti Dey, and mother Rita Rani Dey, did not accept their marriage.
After eight years, the elderly parents married off Kajal a second time to Rimika Das, a Hindu woman, keeping the first wife in the dark.
A year later, news of Kajal's first marriage reached his second wife Rimika Das which led her to file a lawsuit against her husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law.
In the final verdict of the case late last month, husband Kajal Kanti Dey, named Saiful Islam Sumon after his conversion to Islam, was sentenced to three years rigorous imprisonment and fine Tk10,000.
The court also sentenced Swapan Kanti Dey and Rita Rani Dey to six months in prison and fined them Tk10,000 as well for their part in their son's second marriage.
However, the court relieved the parents from the imprisonment on probation – a legal system of releasing offenders from detention especially for their behavioural development under the authorities' supervision – in consideration of Kajal's two wives and their three children who will need to be supported by Kajal's parents, with Kajal himself in prison.
Chakaria Senior Judicial Magistrate Rajiv Kumar Dev gave the verdict on April 18 and assigned Chakaria Social Service Officer Mohammad Amzad Hossain to take care of the elderly parents, the plaintiff's lawyer Saydur Rahman told The Business Standard (TBS) on Sunday.
The court in its verdict said the offence of the accused had been proved. "The incident also put the lives of two wives and their three daughters at stake. However, if all the convicted are punished at the same time, the family will suffer."
The parents were asked to bear the living costs of Kajal's wives and children – two from the first wife and one from the second – until Kajol's release.
Contacted, the assigned probation officer, Mohammad Amzad Hossain, told TBS that he was yet to receive the court order. "The delay might be due to the long Eid holidays. I will start work after receiving the letter."
Meanwhile, lauding the verdict, legal experts said it would help reduce such offences in society.
"Probation is very effective in such minor offences. The courts of different countries have seen its benefits," said Manzil Morshed, a widely-known senior lawyer.