The High Court has stayed the proceedings of a rape case against four minors of Bakerganj upazila in Barishal.
The court has also issued a ruling asking why actions should not be taken against Senior Judicial Magistrate, Enayet Ullah, over an order to send the children to Jashore Child Development Centre.
Besides, the court has directed the officer-in-charge of Bakerganj Police Station to make arrangements for the minors' safe return to their parents, as well as to ensure security for them.
The High Court bench of Justices Md Mozibur Rahman Miah and Mohi Uddin Shamim on Sunday passed the order and set November 22 for the next order.
During the hearing, the High Court bench expressed their displeasure with Senior Judicial Magistrate, Enayet Ullah, regarding his order to send the four children to the children's development center outside the jurisdiction of his court.
At the time, the magistrate offered an unconditional apology to the High Court.
Earlier on October 8, the same High Court bench, in a suo moto order, convened at night and expressed discontent over the case operating in a judicial court instead of a children's court.
The bench directed the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal of Barishal to instantly grant bail to the four children and send them home from the children's development centre.
Simultaneously, they also asked the Barishal Senior Judicial Magistrate to appear before the High Court and ordered the Bakerganj Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) to be present with the four children, along with their parents, on Saturday.
During the hearing, the court heard statements from the guardians, the judge, the OC, Children's Affairs Officer of the upazila and District Probation Officer.
The four minors were arrested on October 7 in a case filed on charges of allegedly raping a six-year-old child at Bakerganj on October 4.
The father of the alleged victim filed a case on October 6.
After arresting the children, Bakerganj police produced them to the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate, Enayet Ullah on October 7.
The court rejected their bail petition and ordered police to send them to the Jashore Child Development Centre.
The families of the children claimed that there was no rape incident and that the children are between 8 and 9 years old. The case was only filed to harass them over land-related disputes with the plaintiff.