The High Court has warned Judge Iqbal Hossain of Dhaka's Special Judge's Court for granting bail to suspended deputy inspector general (prisons) Partha Gopal Banik and sending the order to jail authorities secretly and termed his conduct a shameful act.
In the 11-page full judgment published on Thursday and uploaded to the Supreme Court's website, the High Court said such incidents are frustrating, shameful, and inconsistent with the law.
"We have no hesitation in saying that such conduct and action is not expected from a district judge. His order is tantamount to contempt of court," the High Court said, issuing a warning to the judge.
"The High Court had earlier denied bail to the accused and directed speedy disposal of the case, and the judge has flouted the High Court order by granting bail to the accused."
The High Court also directed the registrar of the High Court Division to keep the warning on Judge Iqbal Hossain's service record.
"For necessary information and action, copies of the judgment and order should be sent immediately to the Special Judge's Court-5 and Special Judge's Court-4 of Dhaka, the law secretary, and the registrar of the High Court Division," it added.
The High Court asked all trial court judges to issue every order and judgment publicly in the presence of the parties concerned.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman on 2 September scrapped the bail granted to Partha Gopal Banik, suspended in connection with the recovery of Tk80 lakh from his residence in Dhaka and asked to surrender.
On issuing the bail order in secret, the High Court said, "After hearing the bail application, the judge did not immediately issue an order in the courtroom, which has been acknowledged by the lawyers concerned. The order was secretly sent to the prison authorities, which was not even known to the lawyers of the parties concerned."
The verdict states, "The word 'judgment' is mentioned in the law and rules, but the meaning of the law and rules is that a court order or decision on any important matter has to be given in courtrooms. The controversial process of issuing orders has also caused controversy in the judiciary giving rise to various questions."
The corruption case against Partha Gopal Banik has also been directed to be transferred from Dhaka Special Court-5 to Special Court-4.
The High Court had rejected the bail pleas of Partha Gopal six times and directed for speedy disposal of the case.
Judge Md Iqbal Hossain of the trial court granted bail to Partha Gopal Banik on 19 June, ignoring the High Court order. Later, a private television station reported that the bail order was given in secret.
As the matter came to its notice, the High Court issued a ruling, asking the authorities why the bail of Partha Gopal Banik should not be cancelled.
The court also sought an explanation from Judge Iqbal Hossain on his issuing bail in secret.
Later, Judge Iqbal Hossain made an unconditional apology to the High Court for granting this unusual bail.
On 2 September, the High Court announced the verdict of cancelling the bail and asked Partha to surrender by 28 September.
On 28 July 2019, at one point of interrogating Partha Banik at the ACC head office on allegations of irregularities and corruption in the jail, the ACC team conducted a drive.
In the afternoon, the ACC recovered Tk80 lakh from Partha Gopal Banik's flat in Dhanmondi in the capital, following which he was arrested. The next day, the ACC filed a case with the Dhaka Integrated District Office-1 and he was shown arrested in the case. The next day, the court ordered sending him to jail.